OTTAWA – Canadians are being invited to take part in a national competition that will identify great new ideas to support healthy aging. The AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge is looking for new and unique technology-based solutions that can benefit Canadians as they age.
Contestants will compete for prizes totalling over $100,000 in cash and in-kind services by showcasing how their solution could positively impact older Canadians or their caregivers.
Hosted by AGE-WELL, Canada’s Technology and Aging Network, the competition was announced in Ottawa by Bill Blair, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada and to the Minister of Health, at AGE-WELL Day on the Hill.
“The Government of Canada is deeply committed to promoting the health and well-being of older Canadians,” said Mr. Blair. “I am inspired by the ingenuity of Canadians and confident this competition will produce ideas that will make a positive impact on the lives of older adults and their caregivers.”
Dr. Alex Mihailidis (pictured), scientific director of AGE-WELL, said the federally-funded Network of Centres of Excellence is a natural host for the competition. AGE-WELL is dedicated to creating technologies, services and policies/practices that support healthy aging. The network has over 70 research projects across Canada involving researchers, industry, not-for-profit organizations, governments, older adults and caregivers.
To take part in the AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge, contestants are asked to submit their idea in video format (not more than five minutes). Videos meeting competition criteria will be posted on AGE-WELL’s website for public voting. The contestant in each of five geographic zones who receives the most votes will be invited to pitch their idea at a finale in Vancouver at the AGE-WELL Annual Conference, taking place Oct. 16-18, 2018.
In addition to the five contestants chosen from the zones, three wild card videos will be selected to participate in the October finale based on three categories: Young Innovator (chosen by AGE-WELL’s Education and Training Program Leads), Stakeholder Favourite (chosen by AGE-WELL’s Older Adult and Caregiver Advisory Committee), and, Most Mentioned (video with the most social media activity and mentions).
For eligibility criteria and competition guidelines, please see the competition main page (http://agewell-nce.ca/impact). The application window for video submissions is May 15, 2018 at 12:00 AM ET to June 30, 2018 at 11:59 PM ET.
“With Canada’s population rapidly aging, AGE-WELL is always looking for new thinking and new ideas to ensure good health, quality of life and independence as people get older,” said Dr. Mihailidis. “The AGE-WELL National Impact Challenge is a way to reach out widely for solutions that can have a positive impact.”
Generous sponsors of the competition are: Bereskin & Parr, Revera, Sun Life Financial and TELUS Ventures.
The cash prize associated with the competition is to be used solely for research and development of the submitted idea, its dissemination or commercialization.
AGE-WELL NCE Inc. is a pan-Canadian network of industry, non-profit organizations, government, care providers, end-users, and academic partners working to drive innovation and create technologies and services that benefit older adults and caregivers. Its vision is to harness and build upon the potential of emerging and advanced technologies in areas such as artificial intelligence (AI), e-health, information communication technologies (ICTs), and mobile technologies to stimulate technological, social, and policy innovation. AGE-WELL is funded through the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program. For more information, please visit http://www.agewell-nce.ca/, or @AGEWELL_NCE.