Project Ideas

VB Project In For Care


 Demographic statistics from the European Council predict that declining fertility and growing life expectancy will lead not only to an increased elderly population in Europe, but also to decreasing number of people supporting them. Furthermore, while the proportion of old people in the EU countries will continue to grow, the most remarkable increase will be among the oldest adults. This demographic change generates growing demands for health and social services  and implies increased pressure and demand on both national and local governments with regards to old-age care.

As a consequence of an ageing population, the rising costs for (health)care services and recent budget cuts, many (national) governments in the countries around the North Sea have moved from a care system whereby the state regulates, cares and pays to one that facilitates a civil society that is based on solidarity and community . Looking for new strategies, decision makers in several countries have directed attention to informal care and voluntary assistance. 

it is widely recognised that informal caregivers face a number of challenges, including:

• Poor understanding of the local health and social care systems.

• Lack of experience and/or formal education in care.

• Limited societal support.

• Lack of specific tools to manage the whole care cycle.

• Lack of knowledge about the physical and/or emotional difficulties of the cared for person and the longer term implications.

• Skills deficits to support the cared for with activities of daily living.

• Lack of technical support with respect to caring aids.

• Problems with coordinating care affecting with other ‘care’ employment.

• Psychological issues such as stress, anxiety and/or depression.

Although it is relatively simple to find several technological services and applications on the market, most of them are focused on the particular needs of the person who is being cared for (‘telecare’ technologies) and there is very limited availability of ICT-based solutions to support the person who provides support. 

The traditional ways in which the market, the public and the civil sector have provided answers to social demands are no longer sufficient. In this context, social innovation represents an important option to be enhanced at different levels (local, regional, national, European) and sectors (public, private, civil) as its purpose is to innovate in a different way (through the active engagement of society itself) and to generate primarily social value. 


Jon Lilletunsvei 9


Ragni MacQueen Leifson

Tel: +47 37233078

Central Aim

Overall objective In For Care:

Develop innovation in service delivery by optimizing informal and formal networks (to address the challenges arising from an ageing population, budget reductions and increasing demand for health care).

Objectives In For Care:

  • To create and improve processes of voluntary work and informal care in service delivery;
  • Support the public sector to innovate in service delivery;
  • Enhance cooperation between SMEs, knowledge institutions, public administration and end-users.

The project In for Care will enhance regional innovation support capacity to increase long-term (post project) social innovation and support smart specialisation strategies focused on informal care and care volunteers. This adds value to economy whilst meeting societal needs, presenting an innovative approach in the public sector improving the efficiency and effectiveness of public service delivery through innovation. The development of products will be initiated by new or improved knowledge partnerships between businesses, knowledge institutions, policymakers and citizens. 

The project will also enhance the North Sea region’s capacity to inform, innovate and facilitate SMEs and their employees in combining work and care. It will contribute to find informal caregivers in an early stage and support them to continue to keep working and combining care. 

Envisaged Output
  • Improved processes of voluntary work and informal care in service delivery;
  • Improved knowledge of how the public sector can innovate in service delivery;
  • An effective and safety regulations compliant collaborative ICT system that involves municipalities, SMEs, volunteers and people in need in its design, evaluation and use. The system will amend existing bottle necks in current municipal organisations and enhance the interaction between the main actors.
  • Tested tools and apps, e.g. Apps for supporting and informing working  informal caregivers  
  • Volunteer interface
  • Interactive platform, save for citizens to raise their questions + suitable for professionals to answer these questions (if needed)
  • Train the trainer workshops to provide knowledge to professional care givers on how to engage informal carers in the care for patients (family participation) in nursing homes
  • Quadruple helix model developed for the thematic area of informal care and voluntarily assistance.
  • Increased number of volunteers and informal carerds in activities towards a better society.
  • Support measures for informal care givers;
  • Business cases, including a SROI (social return on investment), in order to provide insight in cost reductions in the formal sector;
  • Lowering the costs of formal care through promoting volunteering in informal care, and through stimulating young care givers to focus also on their own opportunities on the labour market;
  • Contribution to new health policies (EU, national and regional) focused on combining informal and formal networks carried out by different stakeholders such as citizens, private businesses and public sector.
  • Overview of the views on volunteering and on informal care in the NSR region.

SMEs involved in the project are also from third sector organisations -comprising community groups, voluntary organisations, charities, social enterprises, co-operatives and individual volunteers - providing services to user groups and have an important role in helping governments to achieve more successful regions with opportunities for all to flourish, through achieving sustainable economic growth.


Partners Found Already

Interested partners are:

  • University of Agder, NO (LB)
  • Knutepunkt Sørlandet, NO
  • University of Abertay Dundee, UK
  • Province of Drenthe, NL
  • CMO Groningen, NL
  • Värmland County Administrative Board, SE
  • Living Care Lab ( & Ageing in Place Aalst, BE
  • Leiedal, BE
  • University College South Denmark, DK


Partners Sought

German partner

Estimated Budget
3 million

Thematic Keywords
Innovative public service delivery, Societal challenges, Stimulating innovation

Lead Beneficiary

17 April 2015

Event Calendar
Events Archive

09 July 2015
06 July 2015
30 June 2015
18 May 2015
21 April 2015