News that a £40 million centre investigating the science behind ageing is to open in Newcastle has led to a spate of ageing-related conferences and events in the English city.
The National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation, based at Newcastle University, will bring together world-leading scientists in the fields of design, computer science, engineering and health and social science. Working with older people, the public sector and industry, it aims to develop, test and bring to market products which promote healthy ageing.
Since news of the centre was made public in October 2014, the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing has welcomed delegates from across the world to a number of events in the ageing knowledge sector. The most significant so far has been the 6th Annual Alliance for Healthy Aging, held in October last year, but there have been seven other events, with four still to come this year. These include November’s 10 year anniversary celebration of the 85+ project – the first research project of its kind in the UK to carry out a study on subjects 85 years of age.
In 2018, the city will also celebrate the 70 year anniversary of the Newcastle Thousand Families Study, an ongoing study that has monitored the health and lifestyles of over 1,000 individuals from birth. The research now covers a wide range of social and health topics related to understanding how we can age better.
Recently, Newcastle University has been internationally recognised as one of four sites in the North to become a ‘Reference Site’ for health and ageing, through the Northern Health Science Alliance. As such, it is now an established member of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing – an accolade that marks the region as a knowledge hub in the ageing sector, and will open up the region further to wider countries and markets.
Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said: “The establishment of the National Centre for Ageing Science and Innovation is not only a testament to the outstanding work and research of the University, but reflects national confidence in their ageing science skills and capability.
“We have three core sectors of excellence in NewcastleGateshead; medical science and sustainability, tech and innovation and offshore and marine. The Institute for Ageing plays its part in driving our knowledge-based strategies and sector strengths. Conferences and events relating to ageing science and innovation will continue to enable us to profile these assets and strengths. We will continue to work closely with Newcastle University, through our Conference Ambassador Programme, to identify conferences which will not only bring benefits to the city and University but which we can provide added value to through the city’s expertise and facilities.”
Professor Louise Robinson, Director of the Newcastle University Institute for Ageing, added: “We’re immensely proud of the ageing research legacy we have in Newcastle. As a University, our vision is to make an impact on some of the biggest challenges we face in society on a global scale. By bringing leading academics, policy makers, health professionals and industry together in our region, we are speaking to a global audience, and cementing longstanding partnerships that will positively affect the ageing landscape for generations to come.”
Featured image: Paul Szomoru, head of business tourism at NewcastleGateshead Initiative