From 27th February to 1st March, Brussels became the meeting point for European regions and market leaders, to review the Action Plans of the Action Groups and the Reference Site Collaboration Network (RSCN).

The European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing, (EIP on AHA), led by the European Commission, aims to improve European competition and address social challenges through research and innovation. This alliance is formed by the major stakeholders, end users, public authorities and industry, as well as all players involved in innovation cycles. The regions included in the Association intend to enhance the health and quality of life of European citizens, promote the innovation of products, services and processes to improve European competition, while extending life expectancy by 2 years by 2020.

The Healthcare Research and Innovation Director of the Basque Government Health Department, María Aguirre, presented the work carried out in the Basque Country since receiving the 4 Star Reference Site recognition award. During the meeting, María Aguirre talked about the reference sites, the Basque ecosystem for cross-sectoral transfer of innovative knowledge and the activities carried out seeking healthcare sustainability and innovation. Among other topics, she addressed the Strategy for Smart Specialisation (RIS3) in the Basque Country, EIP on AHA-related activities, the “Euskadi Lagunkoia” initiative, as well as the breakthroughs and challenges of Integrated Care in the Basque Country.

Since 2016, the Basque Country is considered a 4-star Reference Site, which is the highest rating awarded by the European Commission to demonstrate excellence in the development, implementation and scaling-up of innovative practices, in line with the strategic aims of EIP on AHA. This recognition is also due to the commitment undertaken regarding an integral approach to active and healthy ageing and including new policies which place the person at the centre of all actions.

The Basque Government Health Department, through Kronikgune, Osakidetza and other organisations and institutions, has been part of the European EIP on AHA Association since 2012. The Association is structured around two main pillars: the five Action Groups which address issues such as Adherence to Prescription, Falls Prevention, Functional Decline and Frailty, Independent Living Solutions and Age-Friendly Environments; and the Reference Sites. Within this framework, the Basque Country plays an active role in all the Action Groups.

In addition, it has 28 Commitments endorsed by the European Commission, 21 of which are undertaken by the Basque Government Health Department. These commitments are projects and initiatives deployed in recent years in the Basque ecosystem. All of them are related to the development, promotion or implementation of innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing and are part of the Health Plan 2013-2020, the Basque Active Ageing Strategy 2015-2020, the Health Department Strategic Lines and the Digital Agenda, among others. They are also under the framework of the Action Plans and Strategic Plan defined by the EIP on AHA.

The 6th EIP on AHA Partner Conference hold under the slogan: “Digital transformation of health and care for Active and Healthy Ageing in Europe”. The event has focused on reviewing the action plans defined within the Action Groups which come under the framework of the EIP on AHA strategy. The alignment of the plans and commitments undertaken by the partners in relation to the European Commission policies have been analysed, and in particular, regarding the “Transformation of Health” and “Care in the context of the Digital Single Market”.

As part of the event, Esteban de Manuel Keenoy, Director of Kronikgune, presented some projects in the Basque Country for the implementation of Integrated Care services aimed at the elderly people and addressing patients with chronic diseases, taking the CareWell European project as a reference. These projects are framed within the Health Department Strategic Lines 2017-2020 and the Osakidetza Strategic Lines 2017-2020, focusing on chronicity, ageing and dependency.

For further information on these events to be held in Brussels, click on the following links: