On June 24, 2011, Irish International Franchise Partner, Ed Murphy, and Home Instead Public Affairs Director, Jim Beck, participated in an exploratory meeting in Brussels, Belgium with members of the European Commission on Research, Innovation and Science of the European Union. This meeting is a result of an informal Innovation Flagship research program proposal submitted on behalf of Home Instead Senior Care for the EU 2020 Strategy.
The plan set forth in the proposal would aim to address the financial and social crisis that the member states of the European Union are and will continue to face as their citizens are affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. The proposed pilot program would test both the qualitative and economic effectiveness of in-home, non-medical care as a care alterative to institutional care for those affected by Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. Specifically, the care would be provided by professional carers who have been trained using Home Instead Senior Care’s new specialized Alzheimer’s CARE training program.
The proposal was received favorably by the EU, which indicated that it would like to see a program addressing aging and Alzheimer’s disease as a strand in the innovation initiative. The EU found the entrepreneurship and employment potential particularly compelling.
The opportunity to create an Innovation Flagship research program to test the effectiveness of in-home non-medical care for those with Alzheimer’s disease has its roots in three important developments:
First, at the 2009 Ambrosetti Conference (Italy) there was extensive discussion about the incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and the enormous cost associated with providing care both in Europe and around the world.
Second, the development of Home Instead Senior Care’s new specialised Alzheimer’s CARE training program which was influenced significantly by what was learned at the 2009 Ambrosetti Conference.
And, third, the 2010 Ambrosetti Conference, which was attended by Jim Beck and Yoshino Nakajima, focused attention on a major European Union initiative to spark innovation in Europe. This initiative was intended to address important problems and drive future economic growth. To stimulate innovation, the EU will sponsor and fund tests of innovative ideas. They are called “Innovation Flagships.” Think of them as high-potential research projects and finding solutions to the aging crisis in Europe is an area of special interest.
The next step would be to submit a formal application for EU consideration. We will be scheduling a conference call with the EU IFPs to discuss this matter further.
This is very exciting news, and we will keep you posted as this matter progresses.