SHAPES Project logo

Background information

In 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared 2020-2030 the decade of Healthy Ageing. SHAPES (Smart and Health Ageing through People Engaging in Supportive Systems) is an Innovation Action funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme involving a total of 14 European countries. SHAPES Large-scale Piloting campaign engages more than 2000 older individuals in 15 pilot sites in 10 EU Member States, including 6 Reference Sites of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Healthy Ageing (AHA), and involves hundreds of key stakeholders to bring forth solutions to improve the health, wellbeing, independence and autonomy of older individuals, while enhancing the long-term sustainability of health and care systems in Europe.

It intends to build, pilot and deploy a large-scale, EU-standardised open platform. The integration of a broad range of technologicalorganisationalclinicaleducational and societal solutions seeks to facilitate long-term healthy and active ageing and the maintenance of a high-quality standard of life. Mediated by technology, in-home and local community environments interact with health and care (H&C) networks contributing to the reduction of H&C costs, hospitalisations and institutional care.

The integrated IT platform that will bring together user led digital solutions centred around the home and community to improve the health, well-being, and independence of people as they get older.

This platform will offer a network of digital services and products, that will empower older adults, families and caregivers, to solve real and meaningful problems. These solutions are intended for older adults facing physical or psychological impairments, but also to help those who are healthy to maintain their health and well-being for as long as possible.

SHAPES will foster European industry and policymakers to successfully face the challenges of an aging population. In addition, it will favour the development of value-based business models that focus on digital health and care solutions and services.

The project is a collaboration between 36 organisations, led by the ALL (Assisting Living & Learning) Institute at University of Maynooth, Ireland with a wealth of expertise and research focused on smart and healthy ageing. The ALL Institute combines subject matter experts across Psychology, Law, Computer Science, Adult and Community Education and Electrical Engineering to target real human problems and promote greater inclusivity in our everyday lives.

The project will last 48 months (from November 2019 to October 2023). It will involve  the creation of a digital platform , as well as the development and improvement of 15 technological and social solutions. These solutions will be tested by more than 2,000 older adults across the countries involved in SHAPES, to ensure they adapt to users from different countries and cultures. SHAPES provides for the collection and analysis of participants’ health, environmental and lifestyle experiences, in order to identify needs and provide personalized solutions.

Apart from such EU wide interdisciplinary consortium with blended expertise, SHAPES will also involve hundreds of professionals from different areas of knowledge and practice, including health and social care, government, academia and industry. With an investment of almost 21 million €, SHAPES is a broad initiative to encompass the needs and expectations of older adults, a population group that, according to the United Nations, grows 3% on average per year.

An energetic and focused communication and dissemination plan will be used to promote the visibility of the project’s results among different stakeholders.

SHAPES’s member countries include Ireland, Belgium, Greece, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Germany.

Overall project value is of 20,944,318.75€ of which 18,732,468.25€ is direct EU contribution.

WFDB’s role in project

  • Brings to SHAPES the perspective of the deafblind community
  • Coordinating and facilitating the participation of persons with deafblindness across Europe into the project
  • Contribute with the unique knowledge and understanding of people with deafblindness and their diverse needs, when it comes to ICT solutions
  • Coordinate with WFDB members in Europe, as well as the EDbU, to have 5-10 persons with deafblindness to test the SHAPES platform in each of the specified test countries
  • WFDB ensures overall accessibility of project and deliverables

General objectives

  • New innovative technology to prevent isolation of persons with deafblindness, with better participation, integration and visibility in society
  • Disseminate the results from the project through different information channels e.g. social media, website, etc
  • We expect an integrated and equal life for all persons with deafblindness in all areas of society

Project involvement in a nutshell

  • WFDB is involved in 7 out of 10 Work Packages (WP) and participates extensively in WP2 and in WP3
  • Within WP6, on the SHAPES large-scale piloting activities, WFDB participates in Task 6.8 focused on the mobility and accessibility of older individuals and in Task 6.10 addressing the inclusion element of the SHAPES solution.
  • WFDB takes part in Task 7.2 on the socio-economic sustainability and funding models of the new health and care delivery in Europe, WP9 – Ecosystem Building and to WP10 – SHAPES Outreach and Awareness Generation activities

Examples of concrete outcomes

  • In each of the demonstration sites the WFDB will facilitate communication with up to 10 older people who experience deafblindness
  • Contribute to the production of different reports and guidelines
  • Build SHAPES Personas and Use Cases
  • Ensure accessibility and inclusiveness of project and deliverables

COVID-19 links

  • Opportunities to learn from the impacts of COVID-19 on older people.
  • Opportunity to build systems that centre around individuals living in their own communities.
  • Contribute to forward looking public health policy – enabling prevention and improved management of health conditions.
  • Solutions such as SHAPES will contribute to improve the management of future global health crises.
  • Read the joint publication: COVID-19 as social disability – the opportunity of social empathy for empowerment

More information

EU reading "this project received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 857159"

More information on the website for SHAPES

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