Healthy ageing designers could share £14 million grant funding

Portrait of smiling multi-ethnic senior friends

A new competition for businesses developing services meeting the needs of people as they age will provide grants of up to £2 million from a £14 million fund.

Designed for Ageing is the latest competition launched by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) healthy ageing challenge.

Vitally, successful projects will need to demonstrate that projects and services have been co-designed with the people who are going to use them. This will help ensure that winning projects are fit for purpose, scaleable and meet the challenge objectives.

The aims of the competition are to:

  • create more and better services which support people as they age to remain active, independent and socially connected
  • support business-led, near-to-market innovations that have potential to scale
  • ensure good people-centred design principles
  • encourage applications from businesses across the UK, by working with devolved government administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Developing service-led innovations

Julia Glenn, Design Innovation Lead at UKRI said:

Despite more of us living for longer and wanting to choose how to live in later life, the market for products and services which genuinely meet the needs of older people is fairly underdeveloped. Designing for ageing needs to think beyond comfortable shoes and stairlifts.

We need to address the proper design of flexible life choices for older people, of financial services beyond pensions and see that ageing is a continuum, not a boundary line. That’s why real co-design is so important and why we have built this as a requirement into this competition.

The competition opens on Monday 20 September and closes on 17 November. Businesses and partners can apply for up to £2 million and should demonstrate that they plan to deliver a clear game-changing service-led innovation that has a significant impact on ageing positively in the UK. The idea should:

  • help people as they age, allowing them to remain active, productive, independent and socially connected for as long as possible
  • narrow the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest
  • apply research to develop a new solution at high technology and market readiness.

You can apply through the Innovation Funding Service.

Top image: Credit: Getty

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