The Government has set up a UK Longevity Council (LC) and announced a Business Champion for the Ageing Society Grand Challenge to kick-start this new focus.
The Council is comprised of policymakers, industry leaders, researchers and the public. It will be exploring ways to utilise the economic prospects presented by an ageing society.
The Government hopes that by bringing these people together, the UK can become a leader in the market for age-related products and services. Whilst continuing to promote healthy living and independence.
Andy Briggs, former Aviva CEO, Business Leader and Insurance Industry Expert, has been appointed as the Government’s new Business Champion for the Ageing Society Grand Challenge. He will co-chair the UK Longevity Council with Matt Hancock who is the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care.
Matt Hancock said: “Keeping people healthy and independent is absolutely central to our vision for our healthcare system. Living longer should be celebrated but we need to think seriously about how we can adapt society more widely to meet older people’s needs.
“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. We want to enable everyone to stay living at home for longer and keep active. I look forward to working with Andy Briggs and the rest of the Longevity Council to help the UK lead the way in thinking creatively and originally about ageing.”
Spurred on by the news that in under 5 years, the number of people aged over 65 will nearly double to 20 million or more. There has never been a more prudent time to look at how technology can help keep people healthy and independent.
In response to the news of the Council, David Sinclair, Director of the International Longevity Centre think-tank, welcomed the new initiative. “The responsibility to make the changes we need to make must lie with all of us, whether we run charities, businesses or government departments. It will be wonderful to have these new influential voices alongside us as we take this work forward.”
It is part of the Government’s plan to give the elderly five extra years of independent living by 2035. To bolster this, competitions will open soon for the £98 million Health Ageing Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to develop products and services to help the elderly.
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