In February 2018, Australia’s federal Minister for Aged Care, Ken Wyatt, announced a $400,000 funding package for the innovAGEING program; a national ‘innovation network’ for age services. With the founders of the network and Leading Age Services Australia (LASA) pledging to match the investment, innovAGEING represents one of the most significant movements in the sector in recent years.
What is innovAGEING?
innovAGEING is a collaborative network designed to encourage insightful discussion and practical reform in age services. According to their website:
“The innovation imperative in the age services industry is clearly pressing as providers respond to reform challenges, market opportunities, new technologies, and changing consumer preference.
“We believe that a national scale, collaborative approach to age services innovation is urgently needed. In response to this, we’ve announced innovAGEING - Australia’s first innovation network for age service - which is open to all who care and support providers in the age services industry.”
Reinterpret the concept of ageing in relation to the design and delivery of services;
Foster the development of new business models through innovation; and
Enable the industry to be more consumer-centric in its service delivery.
The innovAGEING program aims to achieve these objectives through a series of initiatives, including:
National awards to incentivise and reward innovation in the sector;
Bi-annual Aged Care Open Innovations Lab workshops;
Eight annual speaking events each year across Australia;
A two-month innovation bootcamp for startups to tackle challenges in aged services;
An open-sourced business plan competition; and
The online innovAGEING network that links disruptors and participants with industry experts and business coaches.
Focus on technology
Further strengthening the technology focus of the innovAGEING program, LASA have partnered with digital product design company, Alive, to explore digital solutions to aged care challenges. Alive have worked with clients including AGL, CommBank, American Express, David Jones and Coles to create digital products that solve real-world problems.
Alive Director, Luke Harvey-Palmer, is optimistic about the alliance with innovAGEING:
“Working with the existing expertise across the aged care industry to help drive innovation in a way that results in better care outcomes for families and care providers is our core purpose for this alliance,” he said.
“We look forward to participating and collaborating across a network of like-minded disrupters and change-makers to help improve the lives of older Australians.”
What can we expect from innovAGEING?
The innovAGEING program promises to connect technology-minded professionals with policy makers in a meaningful way. Technology solutions will play a deciding role in securing the future of a sector that faces considerable challenges, which is why the Australian Government’s commitment to innovation in aged care is heartening and entirely necessary.
We look forward to following the developments of the innovAGEING network as its initiatives continue this year. To learn more about why innovation is essential in Australian aged care today, download our Innovation in Aged Care eGuide, or contact one of our specialist team members.