Three questions to Regina Roller & Strategy for Deployment of Integrated Healthy Aging Regions Based Upon an Evidence-Based Regional Ecosystem—The Styria Model

Which are the pillars around which the Regional Ecosystem is being developed?

It was the aim of the current work to develop a comprehensive state of the art active and healthy ageing (AHA) ecosystem based on a mixed model approach. Evidence on ecosystem building was gathered from the international scientific literature, which was subsequently used to kick-off a regional co-creation process aiming at an integrated ecosystem for active and healthy ageing in the province of Styria. Based on this literature review and a comprehensive online-review of active and healthy ageing activities on regional level addressing the region of Styria, Austria we performed a pre-feasibility study to be able to develop an interview questionnaire for face to face interviews with local experts in the field of active and healthy ageing. Following pillars were addressed during this work: 1.) readiness of political stakeholders and organizational structures at meso- and macro-levels to deliver services and products supporting active and healthy ageing of Styrian citizens; 2.) potential for innovation within the entire innovation cycle; 3.) scalability at the international level; 4.) evidence for triple win; and 5.) proof of concept for deployment and innovation.

Which is the impact you aim for?

Based on our work we were able to develop a structural model for an ecosystem for AHA for our region and also give recommendations for integration of services and products towards a shred strategic goal for our region. Taking into consideration also communication pathways in our regions and including a power / intention matrix analysis during the pre- feasibility study it was possible to create these concrete recommendations for action coming from different stakeholders in Styria, Austria and also abroad.

What would you recommend to the RS to prioritise in the process of building their ecosystem?

Following the idea of ecosystems, citizens and consumers are placed in the center. What we have learned during the process we are driving in our region is that strategies have to be tailored according to regional capacities and communication pathways. Once stakeholders in the region are aware of preexisting networks and are able to reflect upon power/intention and overall strategy it is easier for them to align particular interests and offers towards an overall objective thereby increasing individual as well as impact joint impact from activities. Strong leadership and detailed knowledge of regional strengths and weaknesses is, of course, are key elements to ensure coordinated development and also support for promising new activities and start-ups.

RSCN may support and facilitate exchange of experiences between the reference sites thereby promoting the idea of EIPonAHA also beyond 2020.