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Adelaide joins global innovation network Aging2.0

Aging2.0, a global innovation network for longevity and ageing, has arrived in Adelaide with a pre-launch event presenting the local Chapter later this month.

The aim of individual chapters is to build local community, support local innovators and share knowledge, best practices and insights among the Aging2.0 global network. [Source: Supplied]
The aim of individual chapters is to build local community, support local innovators and share knowledge, best practices and insights among the Aging2.0 global network. [Source: Supplied]

The initiative aims to accelerate innovation to address the biggest challenges and opportunities in ageing.

The chapter network was founded in 2012 in the United States and local chapters can now be found in more than 100 cities around the world.

The aim of individual chapters is to build local community, support local innovators and share knowledge, best practices and insights among the Aging2.0 global network.

Sydney and Melbourne joined the grassroots network last year and now Adelaide has its own team to help accelerate innovation.

The Adelaide Chapter was initiated by Megan Corlis, Research and Development at Helping Hand; Mike Rungie, former CEO of ACH Group, and Mark Ogden, Director of Strategic Partnerships at DPS, the company behind Aged Care Guide and Talking Aged Care. Mark is also a Director of 11point2, a newly established organisation at the cutting edge of corporate innovation.

The trio, all with a long history in technology and/or aged care, is passionate about ageing well and innovation and was looking for ways to expand their reach to understand what is happening on a global level to inspire and complement what is happening locally.

Mr Ogden, Ambassador for the Adelaide Chapter, explains, "As people are now living longer and more active lives, additional life stages are forming, which is changing the narrative on what retirement and/or getting older actually means.

"However, the products and services out in the market are based on the old thinking and are not fit for purpose."

The Adelaide Chapter is looking for ways to move the aged care sector forward and develop services that enable people to live their longer lives independently and productively.

Mr Ogden says, "Essentially, we're asking 'what does longevity mean' and 'what does ageing well mean?'. And then we look at how we can enable the development of products and services to help improve the lives and lifestyles of people as they age."

He explains the Adelaide Chapter is looking to connect entrepreneurs, organisations and anyone involved or with an interest in the aged care sector to join forces to enable better longer lives and make things happen for the future of South Australia, the country as a whole and on a global level.

"We want to create a broad innovation ecosystem connecting people at an early stage when developing new ideas," says Mr Ogden.

"There are a lot of great ideas out there but a lot of start-ups are struggling to get their innovations beyond pilot stage.  

"Through the Aging2.0 network, we have the opportunity to use global insights and knowledge, do concept testing and work out what is the right model. Tapping into a much bigger ecosystem provides the ability to reduce the risks associated with exploratory research and development, then rapidly working through the early stage concepts of those that are validated as worth taking further.

"This model reduces the duplication of effort, connects people and opens up opportunity for quality products and services to be delivered anywhere in the world."

Mr Ogden adds that Australia, and especially Adelaide, is well positioned to be a global leader in supporting people to live longer and age well. "We have the need because of our ageing population and  baby boomer bubble, we have the resources and talent, in fact, we have the perfect test bed in a lot of ways."

"The opportunity for Adelaide is to create a dynamic industry with the ability to scale and export our knowledge to the world that will in-turn create further significant business and capability development opportunities."

According to Mr Ogden, the Aging2.0 Adelaide Chapter will be different from what people are used to seeing elsewhere. "This Chapter will be a mix of start-ups, entrepreneurs, government, established providers, designers, developers as well as consumers, because older people want to be part of the solution. 

"We want to set the scene, make connections, get groups together to solve problems. We want to bring in people with passion and the ability to make a difference." 

The Adelaide Chapter urges anyone interested in the challenges associated with the ageing market or an interest in technology for this sector to get in touch.

The Aging2.0 Adelaide Chapter kicks off with a "Pre-Launch" on Friday 20th March. Visit the Aging2.0 website to find out more about the global organisation or contact the Adelaide team on adelaide@aging2.com for more information or to get involved. 

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