The government has recruited a group of individuals to act on a new Longevity Council which will advise on how to make best use of innovations in technology, products and services to improve the lives the our ageing population.
The new UK Longevity Council brings together business leaders, health experts and others from society to advise government on how the UK can position itself to lead the world in the growing market for age-related products and services.
The launch is part of the government’s Ageing Society Grand Challenge, which is designed to harness the power of innovation to meet the changing needs of an older society.
It also aims to ensure that people across the UK enjoy an extra five years of healthy and independent living by 2035, whilst narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and the poorest.
One of the key focuses of the UK Longevity Council will be on how to make equipment more attractive and desirable for people who are put off from making home adaptations because of unattractive products.
Andy Briggs, business leader and insurance industry expert, has been appointed as the government’s new Business Champion for the Ageing Society Grand Challenge and will co-chair the council with health secretary Matt Hancock.
The Council will act as a forum for interactions and discussions between policy makers, industry, researchers and the public in the area of ageing and will advise on new technologies, products and services that will benefit the older population.
Hancock said: “Keeping people healthy and independent is absolutely central to our vision for our healthcare system. We must use our industry’s incredible abilities in technology, design and innovation in new, thoughtful ways to support everyone to age well.
“Business has a vital role to play in providing inclusive products and services that are attractive to our older population and can enable everyone to stay living at home for longer and keep active.”
Business secretary Greg Clark said: “Having a dedicated Business Champion in Andy Briggs, working with the new Longevity Council, will ensure that UK companies remain at the forefront of these developments.
“This is a key part of our modern Industrial Strategy, ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of these new and emerging industries.”
To support the Grand Challenge, the government will shortly open the competitions for the £98 million Healthy Ageing Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to develop attractive products and services for independent living.