UKRI’s healthy ageing challenge publishes ‘story so far’ report

A senior mixed race couple wearing warm clothing and sitting on a park bench on a day in December. They are having a snack and a warm drink out of a flask.

Ageing populations are today’s reality and tomorrow’s opportunity, set to transform all sectors of society.

By 2050, the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to double in size.

But those extended years are not always spent in good health. In fact, on average people aged 65 today will only live just over half of their remaining life without disability. This impacts not only their own quality of life but the lives of those who love them, the NHS and the need for long-term care.

That’s why we launched the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) healthy ageing challenge in 2019.

Transforming lives

This report marks the half-way point. It demonstrates the enormous momentum we are achieving. Our ambition is to transform the lives of millions within a decade.

We are encouraging and funding innovation across a broad range of themes, enabling people to remain:

  • active
  • productive
  • independent
  • socially connected across the generations for longer.

Our innovation projects illustrate a complex landscape. They span sectors including:

  • housing
  • care
  • leisure
  • financial services
  • digital innovation
  • energy.

We’re funding projects that deliver sustainable impact at scale, many of them designed alongside older people themselves.

Our ground-breaking research is generating insights from the arts, humanities, and social sciences to help businesses understand the opportunities emerging from healthy ageing.

We are proud of our impact, but there is much more to do to reduce disparities in healthy life expectancy. Guidance from our advisory group and citizen representatives is making that ambition a reality.

Get involved

If you’re a company, organisation or researcher interested in research and innovation in healthy ageing, then why not:

Top image:  Credit: SolStock, E+ via Getty Images

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