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Can innovation deliver five more years of healthy living?


On Tuesday 3 March 2020, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee continues its inquiry into Ageing: Science, Technology and Healthy Living, by examining the Government's Ageing Society Grand Challenge, and its mission to add five years of healthy life expectancy by 2035

The Government's Ageing Society Grand Challenge aims to use innovation to improve health in old age, with the target of adding five years of healthy life expectancy by 2035 whilst also reducing health inequalities. 
 
The Committee will hear from officials from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) about the development of this Challenge and the target.  The Committee will also ask the officials about the £98million Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund for innovation in products and services to support healthy ageing.
 
The evidence session will begin at 10.20am in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords. The witnesses will include:

  • George MacGinnis, Challenge Director, Healthy Ageing, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • Professor Judith Phillips, Research Director, Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund
  • Rosamond Roughton, Director for Care and Transformation, Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

In the second session, the Committee will then hear from a leading academic and representatives of the health-tech organisations about whether the Grand Challenge can be effective in supporting innovation in their sector, whether it will be sufficient to meet the target, and whether it can reduce health inequalities.
 
The evidence session will begin at 11.25am in Committee Room 1 of the House of Lords. The witnesses will include:

  • Dr Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better
  • Professor Mariana Mazzucato, Professor in the Economics of Innovation and Public Value, UCL
  • Ami Shpiro, Founder, Innovation Warehouse
  • Luella Trickett, Director of Value and Access, Association of British HealthTech Industries (ABHI).

Questions likely to be asked include:

  • How was the Ageing Society Grand Challenge mission decided upon, and who is responsible for its delivery?
  • Are we on track to achieve a five-year increase in disability-free life expectancy by 2035?
  • What was the rationale for focussing on innovation, and will the innovation approach alone be able to achieve the five years of additional healthy life?
  • What types and sizes of businesses and innovations will be prioritised or best supported by the £98million Healthy Ageing Challenge Fund?
  • Is there a risk that new technologies and services will widen the health gap between the richest and the poorest, rather than reduce this gap?

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