Analysing and federating the European assistive technology ICT industry Print
Analysing and federating the European assistive technology ICT industry
There are currently approximately 45 million people in Europe who report a long standing health problem or disability5. Further, the aging population means that more people will have to live with some sort of disability. Recent figures from the 2008-based national population projections EUROPOP2008 show that the share of people aged 65 years or over in the total population is projected to increase from 17.1% to 30.0% and the number is projected to rise from 84.6 million in 2008 to 151.5 million in 2060. Many assistive technology devices are allocated to the elderly and the needs will not be smaller with an aging population. For example, in Sweden, around 70% of assistive devices prescribed go to people aged over 656. These demographic shifts are going to be an important driver behind increases in demand, as well as increases, or changes in the types of demands for more accessible products, including some forms of assistive technology. This report represents the final report of the study, “Analysis of the Assistive Technologies Information and Communication Technologies (AT ICT) industry in Europe” for the European Commission. The global objective of the study has been to gain information as to the state of the EU AT ICT industry and develop conclusions and recommendations to what steps can be taken to improve the competitiveness of the companies which form this industry. There are inherent difficulties in working towards this objective given the fragmented level of information in Europe. The lack of homogeneity and comprehensive information gathering makes it virtually impossible to analyse data, especially quantifiable market and economic data, in a reliable, credible fashion. However, plenty of useful insight was gained from using other techniques to get closer to industry and best understand the challenges and opportunities that it faces. The work presented in this report constitutes an overview of the AT ICT Industry, including identification and analysis of its structure, how it operates and its main actors. This report represents a summary of the knowledge generated throughout this study, as well as the study team’s extensive professional experience. This report also includes recommendations as to an organisation structure that would be most useful and effective for promoting the AT ICT industry in Europe, and by extension, improving the lives of millions of disabled end-users.
Isabel Mota Borges
Policy Officer and Project Manager
AGE- The European Older People's Platform
Rue Froissart 111
B-1040 Brussels Belgium
Tel: +32 2 280 14 70
Fax:+32 2 280 15 22
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AGE - the European Older People's Platform is a European network of organisations of people aged 50+ and represents over 22 million older people in Europe. AGE aims to voice and promote the interests of the 150 million inhabitants aged 50+ in the European Union and to raise awareness of the issues that concern them most.