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Building business opportunities - technology with disabled and older people

A European conference on 'Technology with disabled and older people: business development, building alliances and impact assessment' will be held on March 28-29 at LSE, run by the Personal Social Services Research Unit. It will bring together EU officials, government representatives, financial investors, technology developers, policy makers, academics, therapists and user groups to cooperate in improving the provision of technologies for independent living.

Ageing societies challenges and opportunitiesThere are more pensioners in Britain than under 16s, and lifespans are steadily rising. Technology enabling the elderly to live at home for longer will both improve their quality of life and that of their carers, and save considerable sums of taxpayer money. Meanwhile, investment in research and development means that technology for assisted living is at a more advanced stage in Britain than in other countries. However business opportunities for the technology developers are often overlooked. Clearer strategies are needed if assistive and independent living technologies are to become mainstream. This conference therefore has the dual purpose of promoting British business within the EU and of improving the facilities available for those in need of assistive technologies to live independently or at home with carers.

Interested parties and stakeholders from across Europe will share their ideas and experiences, with topics such as reviews of funding opportunities, establishing financial infrastructures, EU policies, improving lives around the world and helping families and carers use technology.

EU speakers from the Danish Finance Ministry and the Dutch and Scottish governments will join speakers from Spain, Italy, Germany and Sweden to debate future cost effective measures. MonAMi awards will be presented to two Chinese students during the event.

UK businessAssistive technology expert Maggie Ellis says: 'As the UK's population grows older, with fewer young people coming along to look after them, we need alternative ways of taking care of people and allowing them to live at home independently for longer. What we're talking about is technology that will assist people in things like controlling the temperature, lighting and safety of their house, remind them about the date and time, to lock their door or to take their medication, and enable them to communicate with others in emergencies. I recently visited three elderly ladies in Slovakia who are testing our technology and they and their family all said they felt happier about the users being safer and able to live at home. During this conference we will be looking at cost effective methods of providing these technologies, and at how different parties can work together in a more positive way to help users and to promote British business.'

Notes for editors

For more information, to reserve a place at the conference, or to interview one of the speakers, please email Maggie Ellis|

More about the Personal Social Services Research Unit|.

The London School of Economics and Political Science conference, organised by LSE Enterprise, is being held in association with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Age Platform Europe, the Knowledge Transfer Network, Mon Ami, the Technology Strategy Board, the Sasakawa Foundation and the EU.