Dr Jane Walsh is principle applicant from NUI Galway on a successful €4,115,121 Horizon 2020 grant for a project entitled: INCluSilver: Innovation in personalised Nutrition through Cluster cooperation in the Silver economy. Dr Jane Walsh will lead on market intelligence and strategy in collaboration with her Psychology colleague, Dr Michael Hogan. INCluSilver is funded under the Industrial Leadership Pillar within Horizon 2020 Framework (Innovation Action for SMEs).
The INCluSilver project aims to support collaboration between key stakeholders from different sectors to facilitate the development of innovative ideas in the field of personalised nutrition for the silver population. Personalised nutrition offers a new approach for helping citizens to adjust their dietary behaviour by advising food choices and eating patterns that fit their individual needs and are in line with personal preferences. The Silver Economy is driven both by the emergence of new consumer markets and by the need to improve the sustainability of public expenditure linked to ageing. Thus, stimulating the market of personalised nutrition products and services addressing the needs of the silver society can create a massive pull-effect on existing or emerging markets, as well as a huge impact on Health Care systems.
Health is considered to be one of the main drivers for food innovation in the global Food & Beverage industry, largely due to the rising demand for healthy products by consumers, a demand which is supported by government, research and advertising agencies. Other crucial factors related to such growth include: an ageing population; an increase in purchasing power; a change in lifestyle associated with working habits; the increase in the cost of medical attention and disease treatment; the advances made in food technology and in nutrition research; and increasing awareness of the relationship between diet and health. The concept of personalised nutrition is based on the fact that individuals respond differently to various nutrients depending on their physical/genetic structure. Thus, individuals may experience more or less benefit/risk associated with particular dietary components.
Personalised Nutrition (PN) offers a new approach for helping citizens to adjust their dietary behaviour via suggestions on food choices and eating patterns that fit their individual needs and are in line with personal preferences.
The Silver Economy (SE) is defined as the economic activity and consumer expenditure related to the specific population group of citizens over 50 years of age. The SE is comprised of a large part of the general consumer economy but with considerable differences in spending priorities and patterns. The SE is driven both by the emergence of new consumer markets and by the need to improve the sustainability of public expenditure linked to ageing.
Merrill Lynch* estimates the Silver Economy at $7 trillion per year, which makes it the 3rd largest economy in the world. By 2020, the private spending power of the elderly generation will reach $15 trillion globally. As for public spending: in the EU, it accounts for 25% of GDP or about 50% of general government expenditure and it is projected to grow by more than 4% of GDP until 2060. Europe is well prepared to benefit from the worldwide ageing trend and the European Commission is already pursuing policy initiatives relevant to the Silver Economy. Europe is going through a major societal challenge in the form of a rapidly ageing population, due to increased longevity combined with stagnating or falling birth rates. The 65+ population, as a percentage of the population aged 15-64, is expected increase from 26% in 2010 to 53% in 2060. The rapid demographic ageing is one of the main factors determining future EU and global economic development. It is a major societal challenge as well as a major opportunity for economic growth and job creation. Stimulating the market of personalised nutrition products and services by addressing the needs of the silver society may result in a massive pull-effect on existing or emerging markets and could affect the Health Care systems.
The project INCluSilver intends to seize the opportunities linked to personalised nutrition and the ageing of the European population through a reinforced product and service innovation in different industrial sectors.
* Merrill Lynch, The Silver Dollar – Longevity Revolution Primer, June 2014
Funded under the Industrial Leadership Pillar within Horizon 2020 Framework (Innovation Action for SMEs)
- Skane Food Innovation Network,Sweden (Coordinator)
- Asociación Clúster Alimentario de Galicia, Spain
- Distretto Agroalimentare Regionale, Italy
- Aston University, UK
- Danish Food Cluster, Denmark
- Whitaker Institute for Innovation and Societal Challenge, Ireland
- Corallia Clusters Initiative / Research Center Athena, Greece
- INNOSKART ICT Cluster, Hungary
- Agropolis International, France