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Senior Eco-Nect Kick-Off Event

Senior Eco-Nect Kick-Off Event

24 October, 2022

The public kick-off event for Senior Eco-Nect project took place online on 24th October 2022. The 2-year project is an EU-Funded Horizon Europe Project.


Project partners introduced themselves and their strengths and knowledge for the development and interconnectivity of the Silver Economy. Stane Pejovnik from the Slovenian Innovation Hub opened proceedings with an introductory address and spoke about the difficulty for funding effective R&D in Slovenia where most companies are small companies and SMEs are considered large companies.



The keynote address was delivered by Irina Kalderon Libal, EU DG CNECT and it focused on the intersection of digital health and care. It outlined some of the many projects and policies already in train and pointed to the benefits of the Futurium platform for sharing knowledge and results.


The Lead partner for this project is Eurasenior, part of the Eurasante Group, and Caroline Weste outlined four key aims of the 2-year project:

  • Emergence and (inter)connectivity of economic sectors, including health and care;
  • Development of the full potential of this growing and important sector of the economy;
  • Maintenance of an inclusivity focus, throughout the project so that connectivity extends from local, to regional, to national, to European and beyond and
  • Increasing the innovation potential for the silver economy focused actors.



Dr Helen McGuirk, representing the Hincks Centre, spoke about how Hincks have interconnected with partners within MTU (the Rubicon Centre, the Nimbus Research Centre, Cappa, the Department of Sport, Leisure and Childhood Studies, as well as the Department of Tourism and Hospitality and the Health Innovation Hub Ireland among others), and, outside of MTU, with Age Action and the Age Friendly University Alliance.



Helen welcomed the input to this project of Hincks Centre Associate Partners - The Southern Assembly, The Discovery Project and the CEAI. The Hincks Centre has links to Cork County Council and the Older People’s Council and has effectively influenced policy formation with their contribution to the Regional Enterprise Plan and the addition of awareness raising measures for the Silver Economy. Helen outlined the Centre's activities and achievements to date and thanked the internal and external partners for their support with this exciting and policy focused project.



Gisela Carcia-Alvarez of the Galician Health Cluster (CSG) presented the Galician Paradise. With their Silver-focused living lab in the north of Spain, they are actively working on making their region a ‘paradise’ for older people. Currently, over 65s represent more than 30% of the population and Gisela spoke in respect of the large number of people who remain active over the age of 95 years.


Alenka Rožaj Brvar, also from the Slovenian Innovation Hub, presented a model for active healthy ageing and described their reference site and the key activities that are taking place.

The final two speakers represented European Networks in sport and tourism. Panos Papageorgiou of the European Platform for Sports and Innovation spoke about the importance of sports and their role in healthy ageing.


Ivor Ambrose from the European Network for Accessible Tourism spoke about the benefits of accessibility as an approach for all to engage more in tourism based activities. He highlighted the importance of silver tourism and how this can be better leveraged with some small amendments to achieve a larger return on investments for businesses.



This introduction to the Senior Eco-Nect project will be followed by working groups to establish existing knowledge about the silver economy.

Thank you to everyone who took part and to those that attended.


To learn more about Senior Eco-Nect, click here to visit the project page on our website.


This project has been Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Innovation Council and SMEs Executive Agency (EISMEA). Neither the European Union nor EISMEA can be held responsible for them.
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