Population ageing is wrought with challenges, but it also offers many opportunities - at NetwellCASALA our multidisciplinary research and development activities are focused on developing more integrated community-oriented services, more sustainable home and neighbourhood design, and more age-friendly technologies.
By 2020, 25% of the EU's population will be over 65, with spending on pensions, health and long-term care expected to triple by 2050. However, older Europeans are also important consumers with a combined wealth of over €3,000 billion. Extending the opportunity for older people to age-in-place in a place of their choosing is a major policy alternative to long term care, thereby enabling older people to stay active, productive and engaged in society, and to enjoy a higher quality of life for longer. The essential business driver is the need for more ‘care’ in an environment of diminishing resources and rising costs.
Working closely with our business partners, members of the community, health services, local and national government, other academic establishments and ageing affiliated agencies, we are actively translating ideas into practical solutions that improve the lives of older people and those who care for them, whilst also creating new business opportunities and informing public policies.
NetwellCASALA is a joint venture between Dundalk Institute of Technology, the Health Service Executive of Ireland and Louth County Council. We have established links with a global network of stakeholders, placing us at the forefront of understanding of ageing and age-friendliness. Our knowledge, insight and experience have enabled us to be highly influential in the development of collaborative stakeholder engagements, including: the Great Northern Haven development, Age Friendly Ireland Initiative, and the establishment of Cúltaca or service brokers who work independently and directly with older people. We also work with industry to achieve product innovation, business competitiveness, and market leadership in the emerging ambient assisted living (AAL) sector. For further information on our projects click here.
Our activities involve an array of disciplines including the social and behavioural sciences, health and medical sciences, computer science, engineering, design, marketing and business administration. We work across the three inter-related and mutually reinforcing strands of communities, environment and technologies. We are in a unique position of being able to provide our partners with a complete concept-to-trial, product and service development environment through the NetwellCASALA Living Lab
We are witnessing the emergence of a new "Silver Economy" and our in-depth understanding of this marketplace, combined with a commercial acumen allows us to offer valued consulting expertise, abilities to optimise your research and development functions, and/or license emerging products. Contact us today to discuss how we might help you.
The Living Lab
A living lab is defined as "a user-centred open-innovation ecosystem operating in a territorial context, integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership". A living lab seeks to involve all stakeholders as co-creators and co-designers in the research. The NetwellCASALA living lab provides an array of environments that offer an opportunity, at every stage of the development cycle, to work with older people, carers, engineers, scientists, healthcare professionals and service providers in both realistic test environments and directly in the community. The NetwellCASALA Living Lab is a member of the European Network of Living Labs.
The 3D CAVE
The Cave Automatic Virtual Environment (CAVE) is a high-tech immersive virtual reality system which the team at NetwellCASALA use to develop and test new technological, environmental and architectural concepts and designs before they are fully realised. The CAVE is a cube shaped room which offers a multi-person, multi-screen, high-res 3D video and audio interactive environment. As the user moves and interacts within the display boundaries, the correct 3D perspective is displayed in real-time to achieve a fully immersive experience. See how the cave works.