The 2016 European Summit on Digital Innovation and Healthy & Active Ageing focused on the likely consequences of a rapidly ageing European (and global) population. The unprecedented growth challenges established economic models and opens up new opportunities for digital innovation. Consumer spending is likely to see large shifts, which will drive the emergence of new industry and service sectors of the European and global economy.
As the conference website points out,
the 2016 Innovation Summit is designed to harness the transformative potential of the Digital Single Market across different sectors of our society and economy, develop joint actions and ultimately maximise the benefits of digital innovation for Europe’s ageing society (EU Summit website).
We were curious to see what was on offer. In particular, we wanted to explore potential business opportunities and to learn more about funding and other support offered by the EU to innovative companies.
The conference exhibit offered a good selection of new product ideas in different stages of development. A wide selection of apps and app concepts offered everything from social activities, personal story telling, and memory preservation concepts. However, many of these products are still in early phases of development. The list of exhibitors includes more detailed descriptions and links to the exhibitor’s product websites.
In the closing session, we were especially impressed by the comments of Esko Aho, the former Prime Minister of Finland (from 1991 to 1995), who emphasised the importance of an active promotion of digital innovation. Aho told the audience about his recent experience attending a hackathon promoting startups in Finland and how events of that kind foster opportunities for startup companies and digital innovators.
An added benefit of attending a conference in Brussels, Belgium, is the opportunity to explore this lovely city and to discover the charms. We’ve put together a little photo-album (presented in a Jetpack gallery — ask us if you’d like to learn more 😉 ).
Au revoir, Buxelles! Hope to come back for another visit soon!