The Future of Independent Living Services (ILS) in the EU for the Ageing Society


Starting date: January 2005
Duration: 10 months


  • General objective:

This project seeks to gauge the demand for Independent Living Services (ILS) in Europe's ageing society. The aim is to answer the following research questions:

    1. What ILS policies exist in the EU and is there consensus among the EU member states (EU25) regarding the objectives, functions and future of ILS?
    2. What can we learn from 'proven practices' in this field? What success and failure factors can be deduced from pilots and initiatives that have already taken place?
    3. What scenarios can be depicted to describe the future of ILS, including their technological, political, ethical and social factors?
    4. What are the market opportunities and policy implications and recommendations for realising the ILS described in these scenarios?

Description: ILS are ICT products, applications and services that enable people whose independence of lifestyle is challenged to lead a more independent and participatory life. The study evaluates the demand for future ICT-based ILS in Europe's ageing society, in the context of an active ageing strategy, by taking into account technological, political, ethical and social factors.

Policy relevance:

The EU recognises the fundamental right of the elderly to live independently and with dignity, integrated into social, cultural and professional life. Moreover, a right for all to healthcare should be guaranteed. Comprehensive, integrated healthcare policies are needed that provide an appropriate range of care services that are both community- and patient-orented, and redress the balance between 'cure-oriented' services and 'care-oriented' services. ICTs are considered to be important tools to realise these objectives.


  • TNO-STB (the Institute for Strategy, Technology and Policy of the Netherlands Institute for Applied Scientific Research)

Dissemination Activities

Related Events:

  • Silver Economy Conference, 15 - 16 November 2007, Seville
  • Workshop on "User Needs in ICT Research for Independent Living, with a focus on Health Aspects", 24-25 November 2006, Brussels
  • Growth and Jobs Conference, 6-7 April 2006. Presentation on 'ICTs for Health: Independent Living Services' made by Clara Centeno.
  • eHealth 2006 High Level Conference, 10-12 May 2006, Malaga. IPTS Thematic Session on 'Future Strategies and Policies: Europe's Ageing Society'
  • eInclusion Policy Stakeholders Workshop, 25 September 2006, Brussels. Presentation on 'ICTs for Active Ageing and Independent Living Services - Vision and Key Challenges' made by Clara Centeno.
  • 3rd Experts Meeting of the i2010 eInclusion Subgroup: ICT and Ageing, 25 January 2006, Brussels. Presentation on 'Outlook for ICT and Ageing' made by Yves Punie.

Related Publications:

Study Reports:

  • Work Package 1: Active Ageing and Independen Living Services: Core propositions leading to a conceptual framework (Mark Leys, Sofie de Rouck)
  • Work Package 2: Inventory of ILS-related Policy, Applications and Contextual Factors (Empirica)
  • Work Package 3: Building Scenarios for Future ILS: The Future of Independent Living Services in the EU
  • Final Report


Project Leader: Marcelino Cabrera