The 2nd Workshop of Silver Financing Mechanism was dedicated to international financing programs. In particular, the AAL (Active Assisted Living) Programme was in focus of analysis. The objective of the event was to learn about the AAL financing instrument and model scenarios for Latvia to become involved with the AAL Programme.
The AAL is an Association with 17 countries as members and it runs European Commission co-funded financing programme (AAL Programme) which supports the development of silver economy innovations, especially in digital, welfare and health tech areas.
Representatives of all triple helix actors (universities, public authorities, companies and seniors) participated. A well balanced mix of participants created a great basis for analysis and discussion – there were from 3 to 6 representatives of each of the triple helix sectors – higher education institutions, municipalities, government institutions, NGO’s, companies and seniors. In total there were 28 participants.
Participants of the seminar were diligently introduced about the organizational setup of the AAL Programme financing mechanism. The discussion took place whether and how Latvia could be stimulated to join the Programme. Experts from the Ministry of Welfare and Riga City Council Welfare Department gave valuable feedback on the critical issues concerning current status of the social and political system in Latvia and advised on the steps to be taken if Latvia is to become a member of AAL Programme. Some experts suggested to join efforts with Estonia and Lithuania in observing membership status at the AAL Programme simultaneously. Representative of seniors and NGO sector Mr Rims Vaitkus emphasized that innovation projects developed under the AAL Programme are co-funded by the European Commission, which remarkably increases the overall project budget and capacity. Business sector representative concluded that it is a good time, whilst implementing OSIRIS project, to start analyzing and negotiating Latvia’s participation in the AAL Programme. Most of experts agreed that this is a long-term strategic decision and in no way a short-term fast-gain activity.