Entrepreneurs are ready for the silver economy boom

The INCluSilver Innovation Conference attracted an international turnout of SMEs and experts to Aarhus. Exciting new opportunities to deliver personalised nutrition to the ageing population were the talk of the event.

A total of 275 SMEs have benefited from INCluSilver support over the past three years. The output is an impressive diversity of products and services to help adults over 50 stay fit, healthy and independent in life’s later years.

In short, the INCluSilver programme has achieved what it set out to do. Cross-sector partners have come together to develop innovative personalised nutrition solutions for Europe’s growing silver economy.

Not just about food
Speaking at the INCluSilver Innovation Conference hosted by Danish Food Cluster in Aarhus, project coordinator Per Simonssen reviewed the achievements of entrepreneurs within agro-food, health, digital technology, packaging and mobile app design.

“Personalised nutrition is not only about food. It’s also about creating the ecosystem around it by working across value chain,” he said.

INCluSilver has made it easier for SMEs to find partners and potential customers. And it has provided soft financing for developing, marketing and scaling up innovations to the point where SMEs can obtain more financing from investors.”

Elevator speeches and keynotes
Around 100 representatives of INCluSilver partners, participants and other interested parties attended the two-day event, which kicked off in beautiful surroundings at Aarhus University.

One of the key highlights was the pitch session, when 18 selected SMEs gave a three-minute elevator speech about their INCluSilver project and its business potential.

Keynote speeches shared the latest knowledge about the role of gut microbiota in elderly nutrition, the consequences of undernutrition and how the right diet can counter the physiological changes that take place as people age.

Business and funding opportunities
Valuable insights about silver economy opportunities and further possibilities to obtain EU funding targeted the many business representatives who attended the event. A presentation about the European GreenProtein project also explained the upcoming potential of protein from sugar beet leaves.

Per Simonssen summed up the importance of INCluSilver in his presentation of the results

With EU funding, young enterprises can afford to make mistakes, so they can use what they have learned to succeed. By facilitating cross-border cooperation, INCluSilver has also given SMEs access to new markets.”

INCluSilver results in brief

  • 275 SMEs have received help from the INCluSilver helpdesk
  • 60 SMEs have participated in cross-border matchmaking events
  • 90 SMEs are partners in 26 funded projects, including 14 cross-border projects
  • 34 INCluSilver events have reached 2,695 people
  • 3 innovation guild meetings have gathered participants from eight countries
  • 2 innovation training and networking events in Budapest and Paris with 62 international participants

INCluSilver partners:

Covering the agro-food, health, ICT and creative industries sectors (part of five emerging industries (Food, Personalised Medicine, Mobile Services, Mobility and Creative).

INCLuSilver Tweets

Pictures from the event