The opportunities that open up around the elderly and the demographic challenge at the health, social and economic levels are already a priority issue on the Galician agenda. The Galician Health Cluster
has taken the initiative to generate a productive ecosystem around the Silver Economy or aging economy. After analyzing the data of the IV RIES19 Forum, held on October 23rd and 24th in A Coruña, the CSG reports that more than 350 people joined the conferences, activities and alliances generated through this event.
80% of the CSG members attended this fourth edition of the RIES Forum in person, with a high participation of external public, highlighting the wide presence of patient associations and social agents from the third sector. This IV RIES19 Forum has also involved the visibility of new projects and entrepreneur ideas and the inclusion of 10 new entities as CSG members. With these additions, the Galician Health Cluster is now composed by almost a hundred entities from all over Galicia consolidating its position as a benchmark space for the collaboration of the entire Galician health ecosystem.
The IV RIES19 Forum has also provided financing opportunities for new projects and national and international strategic alliances. The international forum on Silver Economy: for an active and healthy aging has also been the chosen scenario for the presentation of initiatives from other parts of Spain such as Activage or Generación Savia, and European projects such as neuroATLANTIC. All of them consider the Galician ecosystem as a priority to implement proposals around the longevity revolution.
Another novelty of the IV RIES19 Forum has been the launch of the platform www.eventoclustersaude.com . Through it, the partners and assistants have obtained a private user with a password that will serve them from now on to be able to maintain direct contact with the other users and network around the activities programmed by the CSG. More than 90 people already have their full profile on the platform, which aims to become an internal communication tool between partners and collaborators through its virtual meeting rooms.
From the IV RIES19 Forum we have drawn important conclusions, reflections and teachings. Thus, Juan Carlos Alcaide, an expert in Silver Economy who opened the event with the Keynote, invites us to overcome the current “ghastly” view of technology applied to aging and to focus more on people. The goal is to use technology to care for the elderly, in their favor, and above all to talk to them and have their opinion and needs before developing a new idea.
At the table “Silver Economy: context, opportunities and benefits”, moderated by Manuel González Penedo, director of CITIC, we could hear the keys of Andy Bladen (director of ecosystems of ECHAlliance), Juan Riese (Carlos III Health Institute and advisor to the European Project Office) and Mario Mosquera (ACIS). They told us why Galicia can become a benchmark territory for innovation in active and healthy aging at an international level and what are the priority fields of action for obtaining financing for European projects.
In the debate on the “Third sector as a driving force for change in the Silver Economy sector”, chaired by Jaime del Barrio (President of the Asociación Salud Digital), we were able to count on an important representation of the social agents involved. We listened to Felipa Jove (President of the Maria José Jove Foundation), Ramón Bermúdez de Castro (Director of Innovation for the Red Cross in Galicia), Beatriz Ester (Generación SAVIA), Amaya Cliveti (Fundación La Caixa) and Idelfonso de la Campa (Director General of Majors of the Xunta de Galicia). Thanks to them we obtained a broad perspective on the performance of non-profit entities, private and public in the face of the demographic challenge.
Gregor Cuzak (ECHAlliance ecosystem coordinator) starred in the first speech on “Integrative technological innovation: a success story” with his presentation on the HealthDay.si initiative. On the other hand, Sebastián Pantoja and Ana Bermúdez (Televés) presented the innovative Activage project and senior experience. Finally, at the table moderated by Santiago de Torres (Inveready Biotech) we obtained the important vision of investors on the sector, with Yolanda Falcón (Xesgalicia) and Isaac Chocron (OurCrowd).
These days of important presentations and networking were possible thanks to the collaboration of the Xunta de Galicia, Obra Social La Caixa, ECHAlliance and the Council of A Coruña, and the sponsorship of Codigo 100, Plexus, MSD, MESI, Fundación Kaertor, Lapisoft, I want a Grandpa, Phottic and The Well Being Lab.
The IV RIES19 Forum has therefore been an important base on which to continue building synergies, alliances and projects around a reality that is palpable in Galicia: 25% of our population is over 60 years old and we already have a percentage of elderly people which is what Europe expects on average by 2030.
Therefore, we have a great challenge ahead but we are also in a privileged position to innovate in a trend that will generate more than 100 million jobs in Europe in the next 50 years. And we must try to do it from the private and public sector without leaving anyone behind: with a well-being accessible to all the elderly without generating aging at two speeds or having to choose between a premium or low-cost old age.