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Across Europe, economic and demographic developments pose new challenges in health related issues: a general tendency to prioritise on health and safety, the strong increase in welfare-related diseases and the increased need for (home) care for the ageing population are causing health care costs to increase rapidly, Innovative solutions are necessary to meet these challenges and to avoid health care becoming unaffordable.

However, the challenges posed by changing health needs are also an opportunity: because of the scope of the public health issue, and the increasing need of products and services in this area, it is an attractive target area for developing innovative new technologies and applications.

In the Interreg IVC project Innovation 4 Welfare six European regions have exchanged best practices, developed new innovation projects and influenced regional policies by stimulating innovation in the field of health and safety (‘welfare’).

In this way the project addressed EU policy objectives in two areas:

  • To increase competitiveness through innovation and transition to a knowledge-based economy.
  • To stimulate the creation of new solutions in the field of health related issues.

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