Optimal Aging: What $10M will do.

Not to be outdone by Marsh & McLennan’s $1.5M investment in the Stanford Center on Longevity, (as discussed in Sept. 4th posting), coming closer to this ten minute world – it was announced last week that McMaster University in Hamilton Ontario has received a $10M private donation from former RBC bank executive Suzanne Labarge for research on what they call “optimal aging”.

Amazing in this world of tight economies that there’s money out there, and those with enough interest to shell out their money on research projects in this, our age of longevity! At some point I guess the benefits from all this research will trickle down to street level and actually help – a) give a better understanding how to live fuller longer lives and; b) generate practical solutions to assist in managing the realities of daily life.

If the first project announced in this McMaster effort adds anything towards the practical, then the study into automobile design for older drivers counts. Not that this sounds new. Research is being done by DRIVE Lab at the University of Guelph and then there’s Ford Motor Co.

Sheryl Connelly is Ford’s expert on “Global Trends and Futuring”. Guess what trend is on her radar? Aging population. As she’s quick to highlight, Ford uses an “Age Suit” as a research tool for intelligent car design for aging drivers. Maybe the folks at McMaster will make Ford first stop in their research and then next is Ford collaborating with another $10M to match Ms. Labarge.

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