Biz4Age (Business Opportunities for Healthy Ageing) was a €600,000 project in the Faculty of Business and Law.
Funded by the EU under the INTERREG IVA 2 Seas Programme, Biz4Age brought together partners from England (Kent, Cambridgeshire), The Netherlands (Zeeland), Belgium (West-Flanders) and France (Nord-pas-de-Calais).
Biz4Age was operational from April 2014 - September 2015.
From March – September 2015, Biz4Age undertook three projects: ROOMforLIFE, Vital Living Environment, and Co-Creating Solutions for Independent Living.
Our focus in these projects was independent living. Our aim was to explore how to design and build homes and neighbourhoods that truly meet the needs of residents at the same time as enhancing the local economy.
In particular we explored the transferability of the Zeeland Living Room approach to new contexts and regions by bringing it to the Kent Integration Pioneer for integrated care, and combining it with the concept of a Vital Living Environment from University College VIVES.
ROOMforLIFE (R4L) was a living laboratory that explored the transferability of the Zeeland Living Room’s approach to user-led innovation to a care home in Kent. ROOMforLIFE was led by Biz4Age partners Impuls and Kent County Council in close cooperation with the Zeeland Living Room and key stakeholders in Kent including a care home and a local GP.
This Biz4Age project extended the Zeeland Living Room process from interiors to the surrounding neighbourhood.
The concept of a Vital Living Environment (VLE) was developed at University College in Bruges. Through interviews and ethnography, VIVES researcher Lisa Kerckhof mapped the built environment in the neighbourhood of the ZLR in Rilland from the perspective of the residents. The aim was to identify what they needed to maintain extended independent living and happy ageing. The Vital Living Environment project was led by Biz4Age partners VIVES University College Bruges and Impuls in close cooperation with the Zeeland Living Room project in Rilland.
Co-Creating Solutions for Independent Living was closely linked to ROOMforLIFE.
While ROOMforLIFE was initiating the setting up of the rooms and recruitment of the first volunteers for the living laboratory, Co-Creating Solutions explored how this initiative could be fully implemented and sustained beyond the end of Biz4Age. This involved engaging SMEs and other regional stakeholders with this approach, and finding ways for them to collaborate. The Open Innovation Workshop generated 15 project ideas for using ROOMforLIFE.