ZonMw is responsible for the implementation of the Active and Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP) in the Netherlands. AAL JP is designed to foster the development of innovative technological/ICT-based products, services and systems to meet the needs of our ageing society and compensate for the expected staff shortages in the care sector.
In 2014 AAL2 JP (2014-2020) started under the title Active & Assisted Living. The approach has changed from a topical approach to a challenge-led approach. This means broadening the scope, leaving room for technical, social and business innovation. The first AAL JP covered the period 2008-2013 with 23 participating countries and the European Commission. In this period 6 calls for proposals are launched and circa 150 multidisciplinary international AAL projects are funded on different topics. Dutch partners are involved in 48 AAL projects.
The main objective of AAL is to improve the quality of life of older adults and enable them to live their lives independently and in their own homes, even if they have to cope with physical or mental problems. Secondly, the programme will support the European economic and industrial base. AAL solutions are based on the wishes and needs of older adults, their families/ informal carers as well as professionals. They must be involved at all stages of the programme, as well as relevant other stakeholders.
Each year the AAL programme will launch a call for proposals for collaborative projects. Calls will be defined around challenges for ageing societies. AAL projects characteristically include different types of end users as well as small and medium-sized enterprises (SME’s). Projects have a strong business orientation with a time-to-market of two to three years after the project. Proposals are submitted at the central level by consortia of partners from at least three different countries in Europe. Each consortium should include at least one end user organisation and one business partner and an SME. Communication in AAL JP is in English. AAL project partners are funded by their national funding agency.
To support the projects and enhance the programme, several support actions will be carried out in the AAL JP varying from developing guidelines & toolboxes for end user integration and providing training & coaching activities for SME’s to studies e.g. for portals in the AAL area or a market observatory.
AAL 2014-2020 is a Joint Programme currently involving 19 partner states and the EC (Article 185 TEC). Each partner state contributes with a national budget, topped up by the European Commission.
To facilitate the growing AAL community to meet and discuss, there is an interactive AAL FORUM website and an AAL Forum is organised each year.