The three winners of the 2018 Smart Ageing Prize were announced during the first day of the AAL Forum.
The Smart Ageing Prize, a collaboration between the Active and Assistive Living (AAL) Programme and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, recognizes the issue of social isolation and loneliness among older adults, seeking digital technologies that facilitate real world interactions to improve quality of life, while ensuring that they are designed and promoted appropriately for the aspirations of these consumer groups.
2018 Smart Ageing Prize
Constance Agyeman, Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre, said: “We were looking for ideas that could really enhance the quality of someone’s social life – whether that be from their home or supporting them to get out and about. We have seen an incredible breadth of ideas and the most powerful ones were the simplest and user friendly – ideas that focused on connecting people and the world around them and we hope the Prize will allow the innovators to connect more of our ageing population, across the globe.”
Five finalist teams had the opportunity to pitch their aspirational and innovative projects on stage at the AAL Forum, after which the results were announced.
3 innovative solutions for active and healthy ageing
KOMP was proclaimed the overall winner of the challenge, winning the top prize of €35,000, while PlaceCal came away with the second place’s prize of €10,000. Refresh by How Do I came in 3rd place, winning €5,000.
“Winning the Smart Aging Price is truly exciting, and I believe everyone involved in creating KOMP, from users and partners to team members, are proud of this acknowledgement. For us, innovation is about the thrill of making a positive contribution – of solving someone’s problem. Receiving the AAL Smart Ageing Prize enables us to put social isolation and loneliness on the agenda, and through the AAL network reach beyond our known waters making KOMP available across Europe”, explains Cathrine Karlson, Head of EU, No isolation.
KOMP is an one-button computer designed to make communication between all generations simple. With KOMP, family and friends can share photos, messages, and make video calls. KOMP does not replace physical meetings, but it makes the time between them feel a little shorter. An unlimited number of family members can be invited to share moments through the KOMP app, giving every generation in the family the opportunity to participate. is developed with and for seniors (75+) with little to no technological competence. That is why KOMP has a high contrast screen, no touchscreen, a loud audio connection and only one button.
PlaceCal is a partnership of community organizations, charities, social housing providers, government services, health providers, and citizens, working together to improve the quality, quantity and accessibility of community data to make smarter and better-connected neighborhoods that work for everyone. It’s especially aimed at helping people find out about the small local events that can be hard to discover: the coffee mornings, sewing groups, computer classes and gardening groups that might be just around the corner. PlaceCal is a website, but it’s also a conduit for event information that’s turned into posters, flyers, brochures, and local TV and radio broadcasts.
Stefan White, Professor of Architecture (Manchester School of Architecture), from PlaceCal commented: “We need to work together to improve the quality, quantity and accessibility of community data to make smarter and better-connected neighborhoods that work for everyone. We need to find a way to have our social resources valued in the UK and to do this we need to start joining up the fragmented programmes. The Smart Ageing Prize will help us make some of these transformations.”
Refresh by How Do I? is a mobile app and content creation platform designed to build confidence and support those with memory loss to live, work and socialize more independently, using step-by-step videos accessed at the touch of a mobile device Users record videos through the platform, which are vetted before being uploaded. Easily identifiable NFC (Near Field Communication) stickers link step-by-step video to the appropriate location through the app and a mobile device. Alternatively, video content can be linked to a calendar to support routines and social engagement.
Taryl Law, COO and co-founder of How Do I? commented: “Being part of the Smart Ageing Prize has given us access to high-calibre experts and advisors, and we’ve learned a lot from the other finalists as well. We’re honoured to have placed in such a strong field and are so pleased to receive this vote of confidence from the judging panel.”
Marco Carulli of AAL also said: “As global research suggests, supporting older people to participate fully in social life can help them remain active and healthy for longer. Digital technologies have the potential to act as a broker for stimulating social experiences that improve wellbeing, and the Smart Ageing Prize is incentivizing and supporting entrepreneurs to reach more people and change lives for the better.”
With digital innovation at the heart of the Smart Ageing Prize, the teams awarded have the potential to change lives for the better.