The background to FUTURAGE

Europe is already the oldest region in the world and, over the next 50 years, will experience a continuing rise in life expectancy.  The reasons for this longevity revolution are well known as are its widespread consequences for all levels of society.  Despite its global pre-eminence in ageing terms and the priority given to ageing by the European Council, Europe still lacks a coordinated and consistent approach to research on this topic.

In particular there is an urgent need to clearly define the ageing research priorities, to create a focal point for all stakeholders in this research field, to make sure that the most important tasks are carried out first; to create the basis for a coordinated European approach; and to combine the strengths of all disciplines relevant to healthy ageing.

In this response to these urgent needs FUTURAGE will identify the main research priorities on ageing and health for the next 10 to 15 years both from a multi-disciplinary perspective and based on a consensus between the key stakeholders.

While the definition of priorities will be science-led they will not be produced in an isolated academic environment, but subject to iterative processes of discussion with policy makers, practitioners, industry and older people.  By this tried and tested method – used since the FP5 FORUM project in 2000 - FUTURAGE will ensure that the road map is definitive and has lasting meaning and relevance.