The Municipality of Porto is now a Reference Site under the initiative European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing. Porto4Ageing, created to foster the debate on active and healthy aging in the metropolitan area of Porto, submitted the application to the European Union. The consortium integrates different participants from Industry, Caregivers, Academia to End users, among which is Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS.
Reference Sites are coalitions of regions, cities, integrated hospitals or care organizations that aim to provide concrete examples of innovative services with proven added value to citizens and care systems in EU regions. Some of them have contributed to job creation in their areas and many have extended elements of their best practice from local to regional or national level. By showcasing Reference Sites, the European Commission aims to identify, rate and award the best places to see workable innovation in practice across Europe.
Maria João Ramos, Porto4Ageing coordinator, considers this distinction to be “extremely important for the implementation of measures, development of important contacts and acquisition of knowledge to regional, national and international development of the consortium”.
The official presentation of the application to the European Commission and presentation of the Consortium Porto4Ageing was on April 11, 2016. The application gathered 83 partners, of which 12 from Industry; 18 Caregivers; 37 from Academia; and 16 End users. Among the multiple partners from different profiles – universities and research centres, policy makers, users and industry – are the University of Porto, the Municipality of Porto, the CCDR-N (Norte Portugal Regional Coordination and Development Commission), the Metropolitan Area of Porto, the Centro Hospitalar de São João, the Centro Hospitalar do Porto, the Instituto Português de Oncologia, the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto, the Escola Superior de Enfermagem de Santa Maria and several professional associations (medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, pharmacists and nutritionists).
Despite different backgrounds, goals and actions, Porto4Ageing is built on a shared vision and common objectives, where each organization actively contributes in a specific way to the overall objective of responding to the needs of citizens, especially in matters related to Active and Healthy Ageing in the Region of Porto. By involving a large number of institutions, Porto4Ageing consortium is committed to promoting the local convergence as improving health innovation ecosystem. The consortium intends to achieve this by contributing to the reduction of the differences between public and private actions and instruments.