VLC RS is coordinated by Incliva and made up of different actors in the Valencian health system, including the UV’s Polibienestar Research Institute.
The European Commission has once again recognised València as a reference site in active and healthy ageing for having demonstrated excellence in the development, adoption and scalability of innovative practices to address a lifelong approach to active and healthy ageing, working in line with strategic priorities at European, national and regional level.
A total of 65 regions have been recognised as reference sites in the 4th Call for Reference Centres for Active and Healthy Ageing of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA).
València’s application received the highest rating (4 stars), which places it among the 40 European regional and local organisations with the best evaluation. València was accredited as a ‘reference site’ in the 2014 and 2019 calls, the latter being the first time it received the highest rating.
The regions accredited as reference sites are inspiring ecosystems that have demonstrated the existence of comprehensive strategies to advance health and care innovation and address an approach to active and healthy ageing throughout life. To this end, each reference site implements a quadruple helix model involving health providers and government authorities, industry, academic organisations and civil society.
These collaborations have facilitated and driven structural change that goes far beyond what any single organisation could achieve on its own, helping to create an environment for other regions across Europe to learn, transfer and adapt knowledge and good practice to local realities, supporting long-term regional, social and economic development.
The València Reference Site (VLC RS), led by the Regional Ministry of Universal Health and Public Health, is coordinated by Incliva and formed by different actors of the Valencian health system, such as Las Naves, the FISABIO Foundation, the Foundation of the General University Hospital of Valencia (FIHGUV), the Institute for Research in Social Welfare Policies (POLIBIENESTAR) of the University of Valencia (UV), the Itaca Institute of the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV), Atenzia and the Alzheimer’s Family Association of Valencia, with the collaboration of Kveloce R+D+i.
València is conceived as a multidisciplinary place to test innovative health solutions that contribute to the quality of life and well-being of its citizens throughout their lives.
The agents of the quadruple helix participate jointly in the design, creation, testing, improvement and application of innovative solutions to build a healthy space.
The actors involved are active members in EU-funded projects, as well as in networks, councils and infrastructures to leverage local efforts on a national and international level and also to learn from other regions in order to replicate successful initiatives.
In addition, the work carried out through the BigMedilytics, Activage and ValueCare projects, funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation in the European Union, has been positively valued in this candidacy.
On the other hand, València actively contributes to regional policies, such as the V Health Plan of the Valencian Community 2022-2030 and the missions of València 2030, in particular, the mission on healthy city in the area of active ageing.
A model of continuous improvement
The 4th Call for Active and Healthy Ageing Reference Centres has introduced, as a novelty, two phases, providing regions with the opportunity to demonstrate that they meet the six criteria to become a Reference Site, as well as to carry out a self-assessment of maturity through a specific tool that has allowed to identify gaps and opportunities to develop an action plan.
In this way, Reference Sites ensure that they are at the forefront of strategy and policy development and thus contribute to economic growth in their region and across Europe.
The criteria assessed addressed policy, organisational, technological and financial readiness; infrastructures for sharing learning, knowledge and resources for innovation; contribution to European cooperation and transferability; commitment to smart and age-friendly health and care solutions; contribution to the European digital transformation of health and care; and scale of demonstration and deployment of innovation.