Health is probably the most valuable asset of humans. That's why it is important to preserve it, especially at an advanced age. To pursue this goal in the long term is part of the lead project of Human.technology Styria GmbH (HTS) Cluster.
The Styrian reference region for "Active and Healthy Aging" unites an ecosystem of more than 30 stakeholders from science, industry, politics and the population. An 'aging society' comes with challenges - but it also creates opportunities for value creation and jobs to increase the quality of life in the long term.
Styria is the first and only Austrian reference site for active and healthy ageing within the "European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA)" with 74 reference regions awarded in 2016. Active and healthy ageing combined with a long and smooth lifespan is an aspiration for all of us, Styria aims to make this wish comes true using various approaches.
The mission's objective is to increase the number of healthy years of life by at least two. Currently, Austrians live 58 years in a quite healthy way while Swedens can expect 70 healthy years of life.
The HTS links the ecosystem between business, science, research and politics to generate economic growth and social added value.
Especially in the development of innovative solutions and services and in the area of digitization, opportunities for Styrian companies and research institutions to set new European standards for improving health care are possible.
The cluster association wants to develop new ideas, new products, and services that help us facilitate the elderly life. We hope to be able to use our resources more economically and efficiently, says Johann Harer, cluster manager at Human.technology Styria. That will be achieved by an optimized collaboration of the main players from the government (regional government, communities, hospitals, social insurance), research institutions, as well as companies active in health economics, medical technologies, pharma, and biotech.
The Styrian reference region currently comprises more than 30 partners.
“In public opinion, demographic change has very negative connotations and is most often associated with exploding healthcare costs and a care crisis. But at the same time, the ageing of the population is generating growing demand for age-appropriate products and services, which opens up chances for innovative companies. As a region we have to try picking up on these chances” – thus Johann Harer, head of the Human Technology cluster, explains why his organization took on the role of coordinator of the ‘AHA reference region’. “For me it was fascinating to see how many actors from the most diverse areas of research and business were already working in this area. The future task of our cluster will not only be to initiate new projects, but also to boost the visibility of projects that are already running and to promote cross-sectoral cooperation in the AHA area.”
In the last three years, the ecosystem of the Styrian reference region has grown to more than 30 partners.
With the exchange along the quadruple helix (science, industry, politics and society), the field of "Active and healthy aging" was established as one of the leading projects of the Human.technology Styria cluster.
A series of activities already showed the potential of the region. Here are some examples: