Scale AHA Study: Work together to scale up digital innovation

Scale AHA Study: Work together to scale up digital innovation
Horizon 2020

The final report of the Scale AHA Study recommends to continue promoting the European reference sites and their collaborative work to innovate services for active and healthy ageing (AHA). The study also champions the twinning support scheme as part of the Digital Single Market initiative.

Graphic displaying the reference sites and twinning partners of the study

Key conclusions and recommendations of the Scale AHA Final Study Report include:

  • Further promotion of the Reference Sites and their work will facilitate the achievement of the objectives of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) and the Digital Single Market priorities;
  • Facilitate efforts of EIP on AHA stakeholders to collaborate at different levels and tap into regional, national, international and EU support;
  • The Twinning Support Scheme is aligned with the priorities of the Digital Single Market strategy and should be used to support its agenda;
  • More effort should be put into promoting different funding opportunities the EIP on AHA stakeholders can utilise to achieve the Partnership’s goals;
  • Facilitate the assessment of impact of digitally enabled innovations in a uniform way.

Since 2016, 74 Reference Sites from 24 European countries are part of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) – a number that almost tripled compared to the previously recognised 32 Reference Sites in 2012.

The Reference Sites represent ecosystems, delivering creative and workable solutions that improve the lives and health of older people through the involvement of different players, including regional and/or local authorities, cities, integrated hospitals/care organisations, industry, SMEs and start-ups, research and innovation organisations.

Together the partnership has committed over €4 billion in investments (2016-2019 period) which will benefit an expected five million people until 2020.


Next to facilitating the 2016 Call for Reference Sites, the European Commission funded ScaleAHA initiative also conducted the Twinning Support Pilot Scheme.

This new concept supports European regions to learn from one another and scale up innovative ICT solutions for active and healthy ageing. The scheme finances small but concrete ideas with high potential for replicability and scaling up, this way it ‘de-risks’ investment in digital solutions.

In total, 43 organisations from 13 different European countries were involved in the Twinning Scheme. First results of the twinnings show successful implementations.

The twinning activities covered a wide range of topics, including:

  • Online health portals
  • ICT-supported integration of health and social care services or adherence to care plans
  • Health and care needs assessment and risk stratification tools
  • Telemonitoring systems
  • EHR systems
  • Integrated medicines management
  • Falls prevention, and more.

Each twinning action has accomplished levels of scaling-up that ranged from knowledge exchange to partial or full adoption of the innovative practice.

According to the study experts, the Twinning Support Scheme is in line with the objectives of the Digital Single Market’s mid-term review report, in particular the priority related to large-scale deployment of innovations in Europe.

Related documents: 


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