Who can enter the challenge?

This prize is open to individuals, groups and organisations located in the “EU 28” countries plus Canada, Taiwan and the countries Associated to Horizon 2020 (list available here).  

Can I submit more than one solution?

Yes, you can submit more than one application or be named as a partner on more than one application. Each solution submitted needs to be innovative and different to any others submitted.

I have entered my solution into another competition: can I submit the same solution for the Smart Ageing Prize?

Yes, you can enter your solution even if you have submitted it to another competition. Please make sure you provide relevant and specific answers to the application questions for this competition. Other competitions may have rules about entering your solution in more than one competition. It is your responsibility to check this before you apply for the Smart Ageing Prize.

Can I remove my application once I have submitted it?

Yes, you can send an email to smartageing@nesta.org.uk and request for your application to be removed. If your application is removed before the deadline, it will not be assessed.

What kind of solutions are you looking for?

We are looking for solutions that support, empower and inspire older adults to engage in entrepreneurship, for example through the creation of intergenerational teams and skills-sharing, or digital solutions to help bring to life the entrepreneurial ideas and energy of the 60+ age group.

Solutions need to essentially be:

  • Innovative, or demonstrate an innovative application of platforms, tools, services, approach or products to support older adults in business ventures and intergenerational entrepreneurship. 
  • Incorporate user testing and co-creation, with the solution, process and design is centred on the needs, wishes and aspirations of older adults
  • Have clear and demonstrable market and scaling potential 
  • Have a focus on entrepreneurship creation; enabling collaboration and engagement with other generations
  • Have a clear impact, with evidence that the solution can have a real, positive effect in empowering older adults through entrepreneurship. 

Further information can be found in the judging criteria.

Are there any kind of solutions that are excluded from applying?

You must meet the eligibility criteria for the prize.

Why is AAL running the Smart Ageing Prize?

The future of work is changing. With advances in technology and increasing trends towards entrepreneurship, this brings with it exciting new opportunities for older adults to contribute their extensive skills, networks and experience to the economy and make a positive social impact.

Senior enterprise is one powerful means to empower older adults to contribute to society and create meaningful connections, creating resilient and sustainable businesses and social ventures, as well as leveraging the complementary skills and knowledge of younger adults for intergenerational collaboration.

However, there is currently a lack of opportunities and support for senior enterprise, and the means for all older adults to work with different generations in the entrepreneurial space. 

Digital technology and ICT can play an enabling and enhancing role in this space, alongside non-technological solutions, tools and infrastructure can also help older adults to engage in enterprise across generations. This could include diverse means such as mentoring, coaching and other skills-sharing platforms, as well as stimulating the creation of freelance and entrepreneurial initiatives led by older adults, allowing this generation to transition effectively in a changing economy.

That is why we will be launching the third edition of the Smart Ageing Series on Senior Enterprise: A prize enabling all ages to thrive through enterprise.

What stage of development do you expect the submitted solutions to be at?

The applicant should have a working demonstration, tested and validated by a significant number of older adults. This solution should be ready to be presented as a business opportunity by the end of the challenge prize.

How do you define older people?

Citizens of the age of 60 years and older.

What do you mean by user testing and co-creation?

In the context of the prize, user testing and co-creation will mean that participating solutions must be developed in partnership with older adults integrating their needs, wishes and aspirations. Development of the solution should carried out with users, from first concept, through testing, validation and business modelling. There must be evidence of how feedback from that testing is used to drive improvements to the products and new iterations.

Who decides on the prize winners and how many prizes will be awarded?

We are bringing together a high-profile panel of judges, whose combined expertise will cover: technology, innovation, product development, business planning and insight into the issues older people encounter on a day to day basis.

The judges’ decision will also be informed by reports from assessors to ensure that the finalists’ ideas will potentially make a real difference to the lives of elderly people. Judges are expected to identify 15 semi-finalists to be invited to the Academy event in June in Brussels.

Three prizes will be awarded: a first prize of €35,000, a first runner up prize of €10,000 and a second runner up prize of €5,000.

What can the prize money be used for?

The prizes will be awarded in the form of a grant contract by the AAL Programme with agreed deliverables. The prizes will have to be used in order to finalise the solution proposed and to demonstrate to the funders its usefulness, usability and marketability. The prizes must be used to further develop and market the winning applications.

Is there a guaranteed winner?

No, the distribution of the prizes will depend on performance against our criteria. We will only award the prize money if the Judges consider applications to have met or exceeded the challenge criteria. Please also read the Terms and Conditions.

What kind of support will be offered?

The 15 semi-finalists will receive a €500 product/prototype development grant ahead of the Academy event in Brussels. Travel grants (amount to be confirmed) will also be made available to teams to attend the Academy event and, if successful, the AAL Forum, so that participation in the prize does not come with financial cost.

Finalists will also benefit from non-financial support such as ongoing coaching during the semi-finalist stage to help develop their business model. The Academy event is an opportunity to refine the business proposition through workshops and coaching, as well as a chance to network with peers who could become partners and supporters.

What does the testing period comprise of?

The type of impact testing conducted with user groups will depend on the nature of the prototype. We would, however, recommend that the idea is constantly being tested by the entrant with a user group during development.

When will the winners be announced?

The winners will be announced at the AAL Forum in September 2020 in Nice (exact date to be confirmed). The winner will be awarded €35,000 to further develop their solution, a first runner up place solution will win €10,000 and a second runner up will win €5,000.

Who is providing the funds for running the Smart Ageing Prize?

The Smart Ageing Prize has been funded by the AAL Programme. 

If you are still having difficulties finding an answer to your question, please let us know by contacting us at smartageing@nesta.org.uk.

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