On 3 June, the Coordinating Committee of the International Centre on Ageing and the Programme for a Long-lived Society, made up of the Fundación General de la Universidad de Salamanca, Direção Geral da Saúde, Fundación General Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas and the Universidade do Algarve, met.
Both projects are a unique opportunity to jointly address the challenges and opportunities of ageing and longevity in our populations.
Longevity and Ageing, Ageing and Longevity, inseparable concepts that are needed to correctly understand each one of them. Because longevity shows us that ageing is a very dynamic and diverse process; moreover, because of longevity, the expectation of ageing is not the end, longevity generates a significant cultural change in terms of future socio-individual projection and allows us to understand old age not only as a synonym of past experience, but also present experience and future projection.
If we were to focus solely on ageing, we would be losing the reference to the reality in which it is developing, we would be doing an incomplete job and, with it, the opportunity to efficiently and effectively optimise the resources available to society, and which respond to the nature and objectives of the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme. Spain-Portugal, POCTEP, 2014-2020, of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which co-finances the actions, and whose raison d'être is to favour the social and economic development of the cross-border geographical area of the Iberian countries.
The meetings highlighted the exceptional impact that both projects are having in their barely two and a half years and which translates into a community of more than 500,000 users, more than 40 research projects with the participation of more than 250 Spanish and Portuguese researchers, the establishment of stable collaboration with research centres that are marking the world's scientific vanguard in the field of ageing and longevity, and, in short, having become a national and international reference as demonstrated by their extensive programme of activities and actions.
The meeting, given the states of alarm and emergency in Spain and Portugal due to the health crisis caused by COVID-19, was held through a multi-conference in which the teams from each institution participated.