Summary of the I-CARE SMART project

With the help of the I-CARE-SMART partners, the Toolbox for Senior Engagement, Toolbox for Business Engagement and the Handbook on Co-Creation & Open Innovation Methods for Smart Elderly Care was prepared to create and knowledge base among partners to foster the existing linkages with businesses, seniors and exploring innovation methods for smart elderly care.
In the 6 CE regions, partners carried out 16 regional pilot actions to test co-creation methods promoting user-focused innovation in elderly care. The interactive development and test process of the pilots allowed direct interaction between innovators and representatives of the target group, paving the way for smart care solutions that address elderly needs with high market potential.
In all 6 regions, Regional Action Plans were drafted, and after public consultations, endorsed by local/regional public authority partners. These ensure that the quadruple-helix based co-creation process is sustained and embedded in the regional innovation ecosystem. They include policy recommendations to scale up the process and potentially roll-out to other smart specialisation sectors, thus boosting the implementation of S3s.

The Transnational Open Innovation Platform for Smart Elderly Care gives publicity to innovative solutions and creates a virtual community through various tools that encourage and support transnational collaboration and co-creation.

Partners concluded a formal cooperation agreement to establish the I-CARE-SMART Network. Through this Network partners made commitments to continue their cooperation and to jointly maintain the SilverStar Platform. The Network seeks the cooperation of 3rd parties, structured collaboration with networks and innovation support schemes. To formulate common goals, partners also elaborated the strategy of the I-CARE-SMART Network to further enhance the linkages among innovation actors within and beyond their regions. The Strategy outlines future actions, i.e. organising the SilverStar Challenge regularly, participation at events, and involving additional Network and Platform members to roll out project results to regions with similar S3 objectives.
The main direct and indirect target group of all project activities, seniors participated in surveys, focus group discussions, traingings, co-creation processes in developing, testing and validating smart solutions for the elderly. They were represented in the regional Task4s, in senior advisory boards and were involved in the whole lifetime of the project in all 6 CE regions. Mapping and understanding senior needs created an understanding of relevant and up-to date regional contexts, developing 16 pilot projects with the involvement of the elderly resulted in 16 smart solutions that respond to real needs and have better market potential. As a result of I-CARE-SMART, social care providing partners have improved know-how on daily work with seniors. In the regional action plans, partners mapped out planned improvements on the level of elaborating smart solutions and services for seniors. By raised awareness on co-creation, living lab methods, and on how businesses and organisations can engage the target group of seniors in the product development for the elderly, and by partners commitment to establish living labs in Austria, Poland and Hungary, it is expected that involvement of the target group will be preferred in the region, and more products and services will be developed that meet the real needs of the elderly, boosting silver economy.

As for thematic indicators, there were 24 institutions adopting new strategies and action plans, involving partner institutions, I-CARE-SMART new network members and Task4s organizations. Beside the 13 partners of the project, 17 institutions participating in the regional Task4s and the smart solution development use the tools developed by the project: the toolboxes, the platform and the co-creation handbook. Altogether 39 people were trained within the project.