Active aging is a useful tool for solving the challenges related to the aging of the population. For this reason, the European Commission launched the program known as Active and Assisted Living (AAL), that is, under the Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. The budget for the project is 700 million euros for the period 2014-2020. As there were funds left over, the European agency made a new call for 2021, with a budget of 10 million euros.
The aim of the call is to improve the quality of life of the elderly and disabled, by investing in new digital technologies and promoting e-health through the development of medical software.
Let’s find out what Active and Assisted Living (AAL) is and how it can help specific categories of individuals, such as the elderly and disabled.
THE ACTIVE AND ASSISTED LIVING CALL
The call for funding for Active and Assisted Living (AAL), also known as AAL 2020, provides for a dedicated budget of over 24 million euros. The theme is Healthy Aging with the Support of Digital Solutions. The call finances those transnational and multidisciplinary collaborative projects that develop innovative ICT solutions in the field of active aging.
The projects admitted by the call are both collaborative projects with a maximum duration of 30 months and a maximum funding of 2.5 million euros, and small collaborative projects with a duration of 9 months and funded with a maximum of 300 thousand euros.
The application must be submitted by 5pm on 22nd May 2020, to participate you can contact JO Consulting.
What does it mean collaborative projects?
Collaborative projects must be submitted by a consortium composed of 3 up to 10 partners from at least three different countries. As for small collaborative projects, there is no maximum number of partners. However, it must be proportionate to the purpose of the project, which will involve at least three countries and include at least one for-profit organisation, an SME and an end-user organisation.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE AAL CALL
The Active and Assisted Living (AAL) program aims to support an active, autonomous, independent and functional life and it was born following the seven-year program called Ambient Assisted Living.
The objectives of the AAL program are as follows:
THE NATIFLIFE PROJECT
NATIFLife (A Network of Assistive Technology for an Independent and Functional Life) is a project co-financed by the European Program “Interreg Europe Italy-Malta European Commission”. The challenge of the project, which is shared by Sicily and Malta, is to provide effective innovative solutions to the growing needs of independence and autonomy of the elderly and disabled.
The aim of the project
The main objective of the project is the development of an innovative framework of assistive technologies through a joint action between the research, industrial, institutional and social sectors. The project aims to provide autonomy to end users, allowing de-hospitalisation and to stay in the places of origin. It also avoids breaking ties between users and their families. Thanks to this project, it is possible to reduce the costs for the national health system.
The main outputs of the project
The NATIFLife project produces the following main outputs:
Specifically, the VITECO company develops an information portal to communicate to citizens the activities carried out by the project, and the software suitable for assistive technology.
AMBIENT ASSISTED LIVING
Ambient Assisted Living is a concept close to that of the AAL and it consist of the set of technological solutions (including home automation systems) intended to make the environment in which we live more active, smart and cooperative. It must be effective in supporting independent living and capable of providing greater safety and well-being in the performance of daily life activities.
These solutions go beyond the technological content, they also include the aspects of design, analysis of the needs of society, psychology and medicine. It differentiates the AAL from domotics, which is specifically focused on technology and automation in the home environment. However, both technologies have something in common. Almost all Ambient Assisted Living projects focus on home automation.
The advantages of Ambient Assisted Living
The AAL designed on the environment aims to support the daily lives of people, given the progressive aging of the population.
It is essential to extend the period in which people can live independently or with home care in their daily environment. It is equally important to be able to perform daily tasks in complete autonomy and safety.
The Ambient Assisted Living in fact ensures better living comfort for everyone, both for hindrances caused by the age and those related to specific disabilities or diseases.
Even the birth of a child involves a series of changes to daily lifestyle at home, from the stroller that does not enter the door to the always busy hands. The same applies to the arrival of a pet or to a temporary injury that precludes certain activities and movements.
The Ambient Assisted Living acts at a precautionary level, taking into consideration the principles of the works that make the house able of adapting to the future.