TSB funds assisted-living research

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Up to £10m is being invested in new research that will help to underpin the development of innovative user-centred services for independent living.

The funds are being made available through the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Economic and Social Research Council and the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research.

Through its Assisted Living Innovation Platform, which supports UK businesses and the health and care sector to develop new technologies and services to support the elderly and those with long-term conditions, the TSB is to invite competitive proposals for research projects in Economic and Business Modelling, and Social and Behavioural Studies.

The Economic and Business Modelling theme of the competition aims to provide improved evidence to underpin industry and social enterprise, to encourage investment in − and implementation of − assisted living services and technology. The Social and Behavioural Studies theme aims to better understand the interactions between Assisted Living technologies and services, and individuals, families and communities.

New technologies can potentially enhance the health and wellbeing of older people and those with long-term conditions. However, while assisted-living technologies are becoming increasingly available, affordable, functional and usable, their adoption − by clinicians, health and social care professionals, carers and end users − is not extensive or sustained.

‘Understanding the market for such products is a key step towards meeting the needs of users and service providers, so we need models that show the potential impact of such technology, in order to demonstrate their social and economic value,’ said Iain Gray, the TSB’s chief executive.

The competition opens on 21 June 2010 and compulsory expressions of interest must be submitted by 29 July 2010. The competition closes on 14 October 2010.