IN this region, between now and 2020, there is expected to be a 21% increase in the number of people aged over 65*.
Mike Morgan, business development manager for Changing Age for Business said: “Whilst an ageing society will bring challenges it will all also bring opportunities. Even today the over 50’s in the UK own 80% of the wealth yet only receive 10% of marketing focus**. Understanding the ageing market is critical to businesses. Companies can gain competitive edge, market share in a growing market and build sustainable, profitable businesses whilst helping to improve people’s quality of life.”
Age touches everything and will provide opportunities for businesses to deliver products and services in all sectors. North East organisations succeeding in this emerging market will also have the opportunity to export their solutions globally.
* Data taken from www.ons.gov.uk Publication: 2010-based subnational population projections for England
** Data taken from The Golden Economy report: www.ilcuk.org.uk
While life expectancy continues to increase at its current rate, we must wake up to the fact that we are living a 29-hour day. We have 24 hours to use now, and we are putting five hours away for later. There is an urgent need for innovation, to help develop age inclusive products and services, to make sure that those five hours will be as good as they can be when it is time to use them
Professor Tom Kirkwood, Professor of Medicine, Newcastle University and Associate Dean for Ageing
CHANGING Age for Business at Newcastle University can provide businesses with access to the knowledge and skills to make this opportunity happen. Some examples of how Changing Age for Business can help businesses:
Provide business space for companies to work alongside experts at Newcastle University to gain a competitive edge.
Assist in the development of business plans to include the older consumer.
Help produce products and services which can be marketed to our ageing population.
Validate business models by providing access to researchers with world class knowledge.
Provide scientifically proven business content.
Improve your workforce skills around ageing.
A new building on the Campus for Ageing and Vitality is a key part of the project. It will act as a business hub for ageing, which will help to develop partnerships, links to our network and provide office space for companies that have on-going projects with the University. An entire floor has been dedicated to businesses that have age-inclusive projects associated with the University.
The Newcastle Initiative on Changing Age (NICA) is focused on delivering world class research around ageing that also delivers social and economic impact. The collaboration between Newcastle University, local councils, development organisations such as Newcastle Science City and local companies means the North East is recognised as a world leader in providing a unique environment for organisations to deliver innovative products and services for an ageing society.
World class age-related activity at Newcastle University
Newcastle University is a world class Institution for research into ageing, recognised by receiving the Queen's Anniversary Prize. Current activity includes:
Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing: clinical research into age related conditions.
Livewell: a major research project led by Newcastle University which aims to develop lifestyle-based interventions to enhance health and wellbeing in later life.
Social inclusion through the Digital Economy (SiDE): aiming to tackle social exclusion by making it easier for people to access the life-changing benefits offered by digital technologies.
Sustainable Business Models for Assisted Living Technologies & Services (SALT): project to design business models for assistive technologies and services that create sustainable businesses whilst delivering independent healthy living for older people.
VOICENorth: a means to engage with a wide, representative range of people and their communities and to consult with them on key issues around ageing and demographic change.
Age-inclusive business opportunities
Newcastle University's Changing Age for Business team is working with companies on opportunities including:
Housing: How can houses be built and adapted to support home living and independence for an ageing society.
Transport: The University has recently run a project looking at the needs of older drivers, leading to research on a sat-nav which better caters for their requirements.
Nutrition: Nutritional requirements are different for older people. We are helping develop services to enable people to better understand and manage their diets.
Recruitment: With the removal of default retirement age, we are working on projects to help individuals and companies ensure that the right person is in the right job at the right time.
Assistive Technologies: We are helping develop solutions which can support people maintain independent living. Examples are technologies; that help with accessibility or that allow people to be supported remotely.
IT: Innovation to help provide older people with access to the digital world by creating more age inclusive interfaces. This is achieved through easier to use software, services and devices.
Care: There is a desire among older people to keep their independence and remain at home while there is pressure on budgets. We are helping develop solutions which maintain people's quality of life delivered cost effectively.
Health: There will be many new opportunities for innovative healthcare products and services. Newcastle University, with its world excellence in understanding age-related medical conditions, is uniquely positioned to support innovation for health.