Friuli Venezia Giulia Region (FVG) is facing an ageing population and the growth of the number of dependent persons. To deal with that, FVG has been promoting a regional system of innovation in the health and social inclusion sectors for several years, supporting regional experimentations through different funding tools and initiatives. The regional strategy focuses on the promotion and the support to partnerships within the public social – health and innovation services, as well as among the public and private, profit and non-profit, sectors. Some key elements can be highlighted as regional drivers:
- The presence of a high number of science centres, science park, research institutions, and researchers which collaborate with health and social care actors
- Integrated social-health care regional system
- Many pilot projects promoted in the last 5 years by developing ICT-based solutions in the field of accessibility, domotics and tele-health and by triggering dialogue for effective transfer of knowledge, experience and information.
This features puts Friuli Venezia Giulia Region in the position to develop a regional ‘smart’ specialization and to consequently emphasizes the regional excellence in the fields of accessibility and independent living. The Regional Directorate for Health and Social Policies, through the technical assistance of the Local Health Authority n.5 ‘Bassa Friulana’ (ASS 5), that is partner in CASA, has firstly supported a regional laboratory on Domotics, Innovation and Accessibility, then developed it to a fruitful networking with a high number and variety of stakeholders active. The network involved around 45 entities and has been recently officially established as the “Cluster for industrial research on technologies for ambient of living”, called “FVG as a l@b”.
The partnership should be committed to the identification of solutions for the improvement of the quality of home living for elderly and persons with disabilities, by activating transfer of know-how with regards to domotics, accessibility and social housing. Such a partnership also facilitates the participation to multi-disciplinary projects for research, development and innovation at national and international level. FVG Region and ASS 5 are indeed implementing other EU project similar to CASA (i.eHELPS, strategic Central Europe project on innovative housing and care solutions for the elderly and vulnerable persons, and SMART CARE, ICT PSP project on wide deployment of integrated care services), and are participating in the EIP-AHA, working group D4 for Age friendly cities.