What is the INTERNATIONAL CENTRE ON AGING?
Our society finds itself in the face of a global aging process that stems of a progressive increase on the life expectancy and the reduction of birth rates; all of this is provoking a variation on the population pyramids, and from this derive important social and economic consequences.
The progressive increase of the population older than 65 years of age has become a determinant factor on both the European and the global social panorama. The future scenery established by the European Commission in The Aging Report 2015 foretell a great increase of that range of age, that in 2016 will represent about 30% of the European population. The European Commission and the European Council have identified the aging of the population as one of the big future challenges, and they have advised that one must give a firm answer to this demographic phenomena in the European social models.
It is the moment to change the attitude in regards to aging and to recognize the opportunities instead of the problems, thus promoting a cultural change. In this way, we will be able to help people so they can have a longer life, active and independent, and also to contribute so that our societies are able to take advantage of the opportunities related to the new societies quickly aging.
The International Centre on Aging is born as an answer to this phenomenon that is changing the world we live in. Its main mission is to consolidate itself as a centre of international excellence for the research and the innovation through leadership, producing knowledge and research. It promotes as well the collaboration between academia and the business sector, with the intention of multiply the benefits of both public and private funding.
The institutions leading the CENIE are the General Foundation of Salamanca University as main partner, the General Foundation of the National Research Council, the Direção-Geral da Saúde of Portugal (Portugals’ Directorate-General of Health) and the Algarve University, and they have the objective of setting the ground in order to build a common vision between Spain and Portugal in face of this new social reality.
This project is grounded in the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A, Spain-Portugal, (POCTEP), 2014-2020.
In order to achieve these objectives, a multidisciplinary and innovative action program has been proposed. First, to contribute to scientific excellence, there will be a series of research projects being led by the CENIE itself, with the intention of identifying issues and problems associated with the aging process and to promote the research in said fields. These projects will be executed in collaboration with national and international centers or entities that are at the forefront of these research fields. In addition, the exchange between university and business sectors will be promoted in order to strengthen the strategic sector of aging and to facilitate the design and development of products and innovative solutions that would improve the quality of life of the elderly people.
Second, it is necessary to promote actions that will deepen in a better understanding of the aging phenomenon, from a multidisciplinary approach. In order to achieve this, a series of virtual and face to face actions that will be developed to share the knowledge of national and international experts, and thus to create environments of excellence where graduates and professionals of several disciplines are able to understand the aging process in both a global way and from the particularities of their areas of expertise.
Finally, innovative models based on social integration and the promotion of social and economic opportunities that take into account the specific characteristics of aging communities will be designed and implemented. This will promote projects that develop innovative ideas that meet the social challenges posed by ageing and positively affect the population, thus becoming models of excellence and reference.
In order to achieve its objectives, the International Centre on Aging has the support of the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER), that gave 4.982.500 euros and was approved by the INTERREG Management Committee, in its April 6 of 2017 reunion at the city of Faro, Portugal.