15 May 2020
The Centre for Ageing Better and Big Society Capital recently published a paper looking at where investment and innovation is needed to meet the needs and aspirations of an ageing population. The paper proposes how the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund could fill identified gaps and complement existing initiatives.
For many of us, as we age what we want from our products and services changes. And with more of us living for longer, there’s a huge opportunity for businesses to innovate to meet those changing wants and needs.
But this opportunity is being missed: 82% of those over 55 say that their favourite retail brand no longer understands them or what they need.
We need better products, services and marketing strategies if UK business is to grasp the opportunity of our longer lives. In doing so, they could not only reap huge dividends but also help people to age healthily and stay independent, active and connected for longer.
The £98m Industrial Strategy Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund provides a significant opportunity for businesses to develop and scale products and services which will help us all to age well.
We recently worked with Big Society Capital to review the current ageing innovation and investment landscape. This, and our Healthy Ageing Challenge Framework were used by UKRI to inform the development of the challenge fund.
The Industrial Strategy Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund provides a significant opportunity for businesses to develop and scale products and services which will help us all to age well.
Through this work, we’ve seen a growing interest in how we can innovate to support our ageing population and realise the opportunities brought on by longer lives. However, whilst this interest has grown, it’s not always been directed to the right issues. There’s plenty more that could be done to make a real impact on how we all experience and enjoy our later lives.
So, if you’re a funder or innovator interested in ageing, here’s some of the key ingredients we think are needed for successful ageing-focused innovations:
It's clear that businesses aren’t doing enough to meet the needs of their older customers. 95% of those over 55 say they would consider cheating on their favourite retailer with a competitor – businesses need to change their approach to customers in later life if they are to retain their competitive advantage.
Let's innovate to help us live the longer lives we want to lead, rather than to avoid or manage the one we fear.