Karina Marcus of the AAL invites you to enter this valuable competition, which is offering a €50,000 top prize for the best Internet of Things innovation that will enable older people to live the best possible lives. This is a fantastic opportunity to kick-start your business and get your IoT product to market – and there is still plenty of time to enter using our simple online application form.
There is little doubt that the Internet of Things (IoT) is going to revolutionise the way we live, helping individuals, business and society as a whole, providing better services and boosting the global economy. It’s already started. One area where IoT has the potential to have the greatest impact is in enhancing the lives of older people. It’s a huge area for growth. We have a rapidly-rising ageing population, which will see a third of all Europeans over 65 within 40 years of now, and this presents huge challenges for society as well as huge opportunities. Not only can IoT offer solutions to help older people live more active lives at home for longer and remain connected to society, older people are more and more willing to embrace technology and use the solutions technology provides. It’s a perfect storm of opportunity.
There are just so many ways IoT could help older people cope with increasing frailty and keep many, who often live alone, connected with society. The scope for invention is boundless and this is an opportunity the AAL Programme has been quick to pick up and one at the heart of its latest initiative – The Smart Ageing Challenge Prize, which it recently launched with a €50,000 top prize for the best IoT innovation designed to enable older people to achieve the best possible quality of life, socially and independently.
Now, with two weeks to go before the entry deadline of May 13, I want to call on all entrepreneurs, inventors, start-ups, researchers and all industries working in the field of IoT technology or working with older people to log in to the Challenge Prize website and enter. It’s quick and simple as a great opportunity.
This is the first competition of this type we have run at the AAL and we have already seen some great ideas so far. We have seen more than 30 entries from individuals and groups, universities and social enterprises, all from eight different countries. But we want to see more.
What are we looking for?
The AAL Smart Ageing Challenge Prize is a fantastic opportunity for you to kick-start your IoT invention or business with a pretty handy cash injection.
Naturally, we are looking for innovation in new, adapted or repurposed technologies that demonstrate a new or adaptive way of solving a problem or challenge faced by older people. We are also looking for these innovations to be exciting, aspirational and not necessarily designed simply for older people but for all – as long as they still offer a solution to help older people live more connected lives or cope with a particular problem. Remember, the innovation must also be internet connected and able to communicate with other devices.
Another important judging criteria will be the quality and usability of the entry. It needs to be desirable and functional – give us the WOW factor! It should also be easy and safe to use by people with varied digital literacy and must be durable. It should also be customisable for the individual and have been tested by potential users.
Entries will also be judged on their market potential. They should be commercially viable and entrants should have thought about business models and getting the product on to the market – is it replicable, has it been properly costed, in terms of production and retail costs, and are you aware of the competition and how you will be able to compete? These are very important considerations if you want to get your idea to market quickly, which is what we want to see.
Finally, we also want to see evidence that you have involved potential end users (older people, carers etc) in the development phase. They will also want to see that it addresses a specific need or challenge and that it will make a difference.
Ideally, you will already have a prototype of the solution you are entering, but if you are still at the idea phase of development, don’t let that put you off entering. All you will have to do is demonstrate that you will be able to have a prototype available by July 2016, should you be shortlisted to attend the Academy event where 15 shortlisted solutions will be provided with business mentoring and user testing.
How to enter
Visit the AAL Challenge Prize website to access our application form. It is a very simple process, all done online, so all you need to consider is having an IoT idea that will help older people achieve the best possible quality of life.
Remember, the deadline for entries is May 13, 2016.
Entries are open to all countries in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Israel and Canada. You can see all the terms and conditions on the website, where you will also find the online application form.