In these times we live in, every economic and social development model is rooted in the word innovation; and collaboration is the soil of success. Collaborations are everything; open source, crowd funded, co-financed, grounded locally or connected globally. This is truly alive in the business of aging or the “longevity economy” as I refer to it. I’ve featured a number of collaborative ventures in a number of previous blog posts, and today I’m thrilled to cite a Canadian example.
Almost quietly announced last week, in our post-election detoxification, was the opening of a new Centre of Excellence for Innovation in Aging in Waterloo, Ontario. This comes on the heels of much quoted statistical information last month that stated that we are at a point now where there are more Canadians over the age of 65 than there are those under 15 years of age. Perfect timing.
The core of the collaboration under this Research Institute for Aging is between the University of Waterloo, Conestoga College and Schlegel Villages, a Canadian owned retirement home and long- term care business.
What is solid about this in my view is that integrates so many of the innovative ingredients of a collaboration in this field of positive aging and longevity – and it is on the ground in the community, where academia and research connects with older people real time.
It also addresses other broader domains, connecting the areas of career development with economic and social development. As says John Tibbits, president of Conestoga College – “We look forward to working with our partners to address the urgent need for a highly skilled workforce that can address the care needs of our aging population.” Once again, this is good for the “longevity economy”.