Innovation for healthcare offers us amazing possibilities – in particular on solutions to help the elderly live with independence and dignity. But to implement them effectively takes cooperation from all sectors.
For some time, we have been working to bring together everyone who needs to get involved – from doctors to medical device makers, from investors to ICT experts – to promote our vision of an innovation friendly, sustainable, affordable and high quality healthcare for all Europeans
At the end of February, we asked people to commit – in writing – to concrete actions and deliver tangible results through partnerships. The response to this invitation has been impressive. We received close to 300 hard “commitments to action”, and 60 locations willing to serve as ‘Reference Sites’ (regions, municipalities, health jurisdictions, etc.) for implementing the EIP actions.
Requests have come from all EU Member States — representing close to 1,000 regions and municipalities in the EU – not to mention from other countries. Altogether the submissions show that over 4 million European citizens could directly benefit from the Partnership; which is intended to have the critical mass to bring about real reform in the way we receive and provide care in Europe.
And those commitments cover all the areas of active and healthy ageing, from prevention, to care & cure, to independent living.
The response is fantastic, and very significant. After all, these partners are not bidding for EU money, but committing to invest substantial amounts of their own time, effort and resources to benefit their citizens and European healthcare. Moreover, each commits to join forces with others, which is right at the heart of what this European Innovation Partnership is about.
The next step is for us to analyse the submissions, but already at first glance we can see the positive impact of this initiative. With the new proposals come many new partnerships, across different sectors, and at local and regional level. We consider this a solid endorsement of our approach to deliver innovation for active and healthy ageing.
I and my colleague Commissioner Dalli will continue to fully support this unique way of working together, to build a critical mass for change in Europe.