As we have already mentioned in this document, population longevity reaches a special dimension in the cross-border regions of action of the Program for a Long-lived Society.
If we look at the map of Portugal which, by municipality, shows us the Longevity Index (percentage of people over 75 years old in relation to those over 65 years old who reside in a territory), we can see that, in the territory covered by the INTERREG V-A Cooperation Programme, the highest values are reached in the aforementioned longevity index.
This is not a passing or circumstantial situation, but rather a trend that will only stabilize and increase, which gives priority to the attempt to generate new dynamics that respond to such a consolidated demographic situation.
In Spain, the highest levels of life expectancy are concentrated in several of the central and northern regions of its geography, with the province of Salamanca, which leads these values, and the whole of the university district of the General Foundation of the University of Salamanca, which is its privileged area of action within the framework of the project, standing out.
In view of this new but permanent social reality, it is necessary to contribute to a better understanding of longevity by making it easier for students and professionals from a wide range of sectors (architecture, engineering, design, cultural management, health sciences, psychology, sociology, social work, economics, etc.) to access specific knowledge about longevity that they can apply throughout their professional career.
This will encourage the creation of new specialized professional profiles that understand longevity in a global way, while also doing so within the specific framework of each of their specialty disciplines.
The generation of these new and diverse professional profiles specialized in longevity will make it possible to promote a change in the productive structure, fight unemployment and favor new areas of knowledge that respond to the great social and economic challenges of the contemporary world.
To this end, meetings, courses or seminars will be held at the headquarters of the institutions promoting the project or other partners, either in person or virtually.
The great experience that the partners have in higher education and research guarantees the quality of this offer. In addition, to guarantee this space of excellence, the constant collaboration of experts and institutions, national or international, leaders in the development of research and proposals on ageing will be sought.
- To create new professional profiles specialized in the needs of a long-lived population.
- To promote knowledge transfer between departments, institutions and countries.
- To establish academic links with other academic centres and national and international experts.
- To offer specialized knowledge of the highest academic quality to students and professionals.
- To create an accessible offer of courses, meetings, seminars or conferences on longevity.
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The cross-border territories in which the Long-term Company Programme will operate are below the European average in terms of resources for innovation and technological development. Moreover, in these regions, the participation of the private sector is low, as a result of the limited "innovation culture" in the business fabric of these regions.
With the aim of reversing this situation, and thereby contributing to improving the quality of life of older people, the project will, in a planned manner and under the control of constant evaluation, encourage the implementation of all types of activities that promote research, development and innovation in the field of longevity.
The achievement of this objective will be based on the promotion of the development of the geographical area of action and can and must be based on the potential of the so-called "economy of longevity".
- To create a portfolio of outstanding projects, conceived and led by Spanish and Portuguese researchers.
- To give international visibility to ideas and proposals from Spain and Portugal in the field of longevity research.
- To favour the inclusion of Spanish and Portuguese researchers in outstanding international research projects on longevity.
- To establish strong relationships between academia and industry.
- To generate products and innovations that allow older people to have a better quality of life.
- To promote the transfer of knowledge.
- Cultivate and encourage talent.
The action areas of the Programme for a Long-lived Society are characterised by their high life expectancy, which results in a high longevity that exceeds the statistical average of both countries. At the same time, depopulation is increasing, with a special impact on rural areas, and unemployment is growing among the younger population.
For all of these reasons, it is urgent to act directly on the territory, not only by promoting knowledge, innovation and development, but also by implementing initiatives that turn longevity into a source of opportunity for cross-border territories.
To this end, practical actions will be carried out which, in addition to contributing to society's awareness of age-related issues, will involve the various local players such as local institutions, volunteers, entrepreneurs, universities, research centres and businesses in order, within the framework of specific plans in individual municipalities, to help transform longevity into a real and sustainable opportunity for the cross-border area.
Different models of action will be designed and implemented in the cross-border area that seek to improve the quality of life of the elderly and the economic sustainability of a long-lived society, through social integration and the use of its economic potential.
With the same aim, multidisciplinary models will be sought which, based on innovative ideas, meet the social challenges posed by the longevity of the population and become areas of excellence that are aware and committed.
It is proposed to initiate this activity in two cross-border territories, one Spanish (within the Salamanca University District) and one Portuguese (in the geographical area of the Algarve), in municipalities characterized by the longevity of their population, but with different economic, social and cultural realities.
We would like to highlight the suitability of the partners for the development of this activity, since both FGUSAL and UAlg are academic institutions that know perfectly the territory where these models will be carried out. And the presence of the FGCSIC and the DGS will allow to enhance the scope and relevance of the actions developed.
- To make society aware of the challenge and opportunity of longevity.
- To promote the offer of a wide range of quality services for the elderly.
- To establish a unique and centralized guidance and information service on the resources and activities available to the elderly in a given area.