Innovation for Welfare
Date du début: 30 sept. 2008,
Date de fin: 29 sept. 2012
The objective of Innovation4Welfare (I4W) is to improve, through interregional cooperation, the effectiveness of regional development policies that stimulate technology-driven innovation in the field of health and safety (welfare). In this way I4W directly addresses EU policy objectives in two areas: it stimulates innovation with the aim of improving economic competitiveness as defined in the Lisbon agenda, and in this way drives the creation of new products and services that support policy initiatives addressing the key societal issue of public health, outlined in the recently adopted EU Health Strategy.Across Europe, economic and demographics developments pose new challenges in public health: a general tendency to prioritise on health and safety, the strong increase in welfare-related diseases and the increased need for home and health care for ageing population are causing health care costs to increase rapidly. Innovative solutions are necessary to meet these challenges andavoid health care becoming unaffordable. The challenges posed by the changing health needs of Europeans are however also an opportunity: because of the scope of the public health issue, and the enormous implications in terms of the increasing need of products and services in this area, it is an attractive target area for developing innovative new technologies and applications. Through one integrated (cross-cutting) approach, I4W aims to achieve three main goals: 1) to stimulate regional economic activity by better use of innovative processes and technologies in the field of health and safety, especially by SMEs and start-ups as important drivers for economic growth and jobs, 2) to contribute to welfare as a societal objective through the uptake of these innovations and 3) at the same time forge new (inter)regional coalitions between business (principally entrepreneurs and SMEs), knowledge institutes and public welfare organisations that currently do not work together sufficiently,to stimulate the uptake of these innovations.I4W will be a mini-programme that will focus on the analysis, development and transfer of good practices in a limited number of carefully selected subproject. In this way the project will not only capitalise on the general knowledge of the regional authorities, but on the extensive and in-depth expertise of the specific actors that implement policies and strategies to technology-based innovation in health and safety, such as universities, technology centres, hospitals and incubators. The partners will assure that the good practices identified and developed in I4W will have a strong impact in the regional innovation and health-related policy through active involvement of, and intensive dissemination to policy makers across Europe.I4W involves partners representing regional authorities from 6 regions across Europe: Catalonia (ES), Lombardy (IT), Noord-Brabant (NL), South-West Bohemia (CZ), Region of Tartu (EE) and Upper Austria (AT). Achievements: Innovation 4 Welfare project (I4W) started during late 2008. This cooperation project between six European regions will exchange best practices, develop new innovation projects and influence regional policies by stimulating innovation in the field of health and safety. The overall objectives for 2009 were to identify good practices in the field of welfare and shape a number of cooperation projects. Project partners profiled at least 310 organizations as potential subproject partners, organized one infoday in each region plus one interregional event. The interregional event was an opportunity to exchange good practices as well as a good brokerage event to start defining future cooperation projects. During the first semester of 2009, 13 good practice examples were selected - involving the relevant stakeholders, described and shared with the partner regions. A first version of the Framework Policy document (FPD) was finalized and included as part of the call for subprojects documentation pack. The FPD includes an overview of the regional policies in the field of welfare and innovation for all participating regions. It also includes all the selected good practices. This document is a key deliverable of the projects and subprojects should be aligned with its recommendations. They are the instrument to transfer the good practices between the regions. I4W opened a first call for project ideas that was closed on June. 22 project ideas were received and they were evaluated by project partners. Some of these ideas would be further developed and presented in the final call for proposals. Between July and September project training seminars were organized in each region to ensure that organizations presented high quality proposals to the final call of proposals. The final call was opened on September 15th and closed on November 13th. 18 subproject proposals were presented with 66 participants in total (average of 3,6 project participants per project). All project proposals will be evaluated by all project partners and a decision on the approved subprojects will be taken during the beginning of 2010 together with the planned SC and AG meetings in Milano. Project partners have been very active in the project dissemination. During 2009 the website has been launched and continuously updated. One brochure has been created and 3 newsletters sent to over 1000 contacts. Project partners have also organized 12 dissemination events and participated in 10 additional events.
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