Project name Innovation ecosystem for smart elderly care (I-CARE)
Objective Objective 1.1
Priority Innovation and knowledge development
Aim BACKGROUND: The 11th district of Budapest, Újbuda has become a pioneer in Hungary in tackling the ageing problem. Wide ranging, innovative social and health care services are provided for the elderly in the framework of the municipality’s 60+ Programme in order to improve their quality of life and help them to stay active and independent as long as possible. To sustain and even improve the quality of care services provided to the elderly requires however increased cooperation, coordination and smart solutions. Újbuda has recently developed its Smart Strategy for Elderly Care, and set the ambition to become a living lab in this field: building on the intensive engagement of senior citizens in the district, Újbuda is willing to provide businesses, research institutions and NGOs an opportunity to co-work and jointly develop innovative solutions.

THE PROJECT: I-CARE aims to build up a fully-fledged quadruple helix cooperation in Central-European cities for health and social care of the elderly. Municipalities across Central Europe can play a facilitator role in creating an innovation ecosystem with the participation of research organisations, businesses, public, private and non-profit care providers, as well as representatives of the senior citizens. Regular, structured interactions among these stakeholders can help to identify unmet needs of the target groups and to explore novel business opportunities. In addition to propelling innovation, such ecosystem also helps to increase efficiency of the care services, thus easing the pressure on public budgets.
Results TRANSNATIONAL RESULTS: As a result of the project, partners will create a transnational network for smart elderly care. The network will be the basis of a transnational living lab, where innovative solutions for the elderly can be developed jointly and tested in different environments.

REGIONAL RESULTS: All partner cities / regions will develop their own innovation ecosystems framed in the quadruple helix model. This includes the elaboration of organisational procedures, mechanisms and techniques supporting the fruitful cooperation of actors, to ensure an intensive co-creation process, resulting in innovative technological solutions / processes to be embedded in the care system. Depending on the local needs and ambitions, the quadruple helix cooperation can have multiple goals in the partner cities / regions, such as:
• improving the coordination mechanisms among the quadruple helix players, avoiding overlaps and exploiting synergies,
• identifying unmet needs of the target group and exploring novel solutions to tackle them,
• creating an environment open to adapt novel solutions, i.e. through training and awareness raising of the stakeholders, increasing digital literacy of seniors, etc.,
• establishing a living lab, where innovative e-health and care solutions for the elderly can be tested and developed through interaction with the users,
• establishing protocols to gather, process and share data, in order to have better understanding on the needs of local elderly population, as well as to support enterprises to create custom-made products and services.
Cost Ca. 3 million euro, but depends on the final partnership composition
Duration 3 years
Partners involved Újbuda (Hungary) and potentially one other local actor of the quadruple helix (e.g. Technical University)
Partners requested Primarily we would like to cooperate with local / regional governments, who have a strong focus on supporting the independent living of senior citizens through innovative health and social care services, and have these issues underlined in their strategic documents (e.g. RIS3). Furthermore, partners should also have already achieved a certain depth in building up their ecosystems for the above-named purpose within their own socio-economic contexts. Since the main strength of Újbuda is their existing collaboration with senior citizens, we are looking for partners who have similar profound connections with relevant SMEs, knowledge providers, public / private care providers. Such complementary partnership would enable good transnational cross-fertilization which would be gainful for all ecosystems involved.
Innovation Upgraded to a full quadruple helix, the new elderly health and social care ecosystem would be a thriving arena for innovative ideas, especially in the sphere of ICT and e-health, as well as a space of countless business opportunities. The combined efforts of all stakeholders would also significantly improve the care for senior citizens as well as expand its scope to include some of the previously overlooked or excluded groups. Such ecosystem can pool the resources and competences of the private and civil sector as well, thus improving the range and efficiency of available care services and easing the pressure on the traditional, public social and health care system.
Follow up of The municipality of Újbuda created a strong connection with their senior citizens and developed a comprehensive toolkit to address a wide array of their needs. These efforts are anchored in their past projects, such as “Senior Capital” and “Q-AGEING” implemented under Interreg Central Europe as well as the “Healthy and active ageing” project, funded through the Norway Grants, which show the focus and determination of the district.
Follow up fundings