Our new SILVER SMEs project organised its kick-off meeting last week. In Teruel, Spain the 9 partners met for the first time since the launch on SILVER SMEs, in June 2018. SILVER SMEs aims to support regional policies in rural and mountainous areas by enlightening the potential for small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop new innovative products and services of benefit and joy for a senior population and for growth and competitiveness of the regions.
The Provincial government of Teruel, also coordinator of the project, hosted the kick-off meeting and showed strong political support both for innovation in an ageing economy and for boosting SMEs in their region. The Silver Economy truly is a growth opportunity, especially for rural areas with a high ageing index, and very important also in improving quality of life and well-being of older adults.
Luis Carlos Marquesan Forcen, Vice-President of the Provincial government of Teruel, insisted on the fact that “the objectives pursued by the Silver SMEs project are also [theirs] and those of a fair and supportive society such as people from Teruel”.
This was demonstrated through a study visit to the San Hermenegildo retirement home. The residence was commissioned by a cooperative of retired people of Teruel, with a total capacity of 240 pensioners and will open in September 2018. The cooperative organised the retirement home in 3 wings according to the needs of the residents – whether active, fragile, or dependant. The size and amenities of the rooms are in adequation with the needs of the residents and the cooperative has ensured the permanent presence of medical staff in-house to answer any needs anytime. The cooperative, as owner and landlord of the retirement home, has tried to insert the project in a social and collaborative economy approach by employing staff potentially at risk of being marginalised and by making use of regional resources.
The next study visit will be organised in Lille, France, on 29-30 January 2019 during the AgeingFit forum.2 July 2018