The aging of population is one of the most important economic and social challenge the European Union has to deal with.

The promotion of a healthy and active ageing assures the socio-medical needs of the citizens are properly answered and improves their quality of life, as they will be more active and therefore more independent. As a consequence, a reduction of the social and medical costs borne by the public administration is expected, along with positive effects on the economic growth. This scenario, along with the difficulty of the institutions and the society to satisfy the increasing request of welfare services, requires the creation of a complete, flexible and at the same time sustainable service model, able to answer the needs of the elderly people of today and tomorrow. That is particularly relevant in the context of the present economic downturn.

The SUITCASE (SUstainable, Integrated and Territorial CAre SErvices) project aims at providing a comprehensive answer to the ageing phenomena from the economic, social, ethical and technological point of view. This vision can be reached out by extending the welfare system, overcoming the current organization based almost entirely on public resources. The main objective of the project is to develop a sustainable socio-technical environment in which new services for citizens can effectively grow, along with business opportunities to private and public organizations. In this context, the role of ICT is strategic to enable the implementation of the model, which requires a complex communication and orchestration amongst many actors and institutions. Both the organizational and technological aspects will focus on humans, to capture the real needs of citizens and caregivers and to translate them into useful and appealing services; the technology will identify accessible and usable solutions. A common platform on which the services are based will be implemented, acting as a facilitator for all the stakeholders, offering a shared communication infrastructure to: create a strong link between research and daily business actions; create business opportunities that over time should ensure the return of the investments made; promote research both in academia and industry on disparate research fields (e.g. data profiling, data and service interoperability and cooperation, mobile service portability, on-body and environmental sensor networks, usability, aesthetics and User Centered and Participatory Design, social and ethnographic analysis, Business Process design and management, legal and technical aspects in privacy and data protection).

Massimo Zancanaro