Health & Autonomy
Tackling a major societal challenge
A European lab (Autonom’lab) poised to become a specialist cluster on healthy aging – the Gérontopôle Nouvelle-Aquitaine, dedicated businesses, cutting-edge startups, an active university and a cluster on life sciences and biotechnologies … the region boasts a wealth of regional resources that are championing health and autonomy as one of its star sectors. Long faced with an inverted age pyramid, Limoges has been unwavering in its efforts to address the social challenge posed by population aging. In this way, a unique ecosystem has gradually taken shape at the Science Park, producing solutions for coping with the problems of health and autonomy in old age – today and in the future.
Blazing a trail for an aging population
Longer life expectancies are posing considerable challenges for society. Today, there are more than 15 million over-60s, but by 2030 this number is expected to have risen to 20 million – and to nearly 24 million by 2060. These senior populations routinely see their autonomy hampered, and there are multiple challenges to take up. First, they need to be given guidance, with consideration given to specially tailored activities, their social ties and support for caregivers. Then, buildings and living environments need to be adapted, and concern shown for mobility issues, civic participation and collective solidarity.
An extensive ecosystem is thus galvanized in favor of this sector, where associations, businesses and labs rub shoulders with health workers, social workers and care homes. All of these stakeholders are working together in a unique way at national level, with significant scope for new jobs, growth and innovation.
Prestigious economic leaders are federated around the Health & Autonomy field, at the heart of ESTER Science Park, including corporate groups Legrand, La Poste, Orange, EDF and Engie, alongside the startups Sanilea, Life Design Sonore and Rev’Lim.
Relying on Limoges University Hospital, the University’s laboratories, AVRUL (Limousin Office for University Knowledge Transfer) and the “E-Health” chair of the University’s partnership foundation, these businesses are joining forces for the advancement of research. They are providing practical, innovative solutions to the challenges of aging by setting an unprecedented innovation momentum in motion across the region.
Backing this field are BPI France, the tech cluster Alpha-RLH, Technology Transfer Center CISTEME and the Odeys Cluster.
Autonom’lab/ Gérontopôle Nouvelle-Aquitaine, a leading center in Europe
Founded in 2010, Autonom’lab initiates innovative projects for the autonomy of elderly people. It is grounded in a unique partnership between public bodies, private stakeholders and users, and has a twofold mission: on the one hand, to assist regional stakeholders with understanding and analyzing the needs of elderly people; on the other, to pave the way for social and technological innovations to emerge, by anticipating future challenges.
Under the impetus of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region and Nouvelle-Aquitaine Regional Health Agency (ARS), Autonom’Lab is becoming a specialist cluster on healthy aging: a Gérontopôle.
The main objective of the future Gérontopôle Nouvelle-Aquitaine is to develop research and innovation aimed at aging well: prevention, promotion of active aging, supporting elderly people in all their choices, irrespective of their requirements in terms of health care, autonomy, mobility or more broadly their place in the society of tomorrow.
The Gérontopôle Nouvelle-Aquitaine aspires to be a center of expertise for combating age-related diseases and dependency and for fostering autonomy and well-being among the elderly. It intends to do this by sparking meaningful change across the region, in a bid to:
- Rally all of the regional stakeholders around a common goal: to positively influence the quality of life of elderly people
- Elevate Nouvelle-Aquitaine to a region that is known and renowned for its high-quality expertise on aging-related themes.
ALLIS-NA (formerly InvivoLim): the regional center for health expertise
The future is already here
Since 2014, ESTER Technopole has hosted the InvivoLim Cluster which groups together industrial and academic stakeholders in the life sciences and biotechnologies across the Limousin and Nouvelle-Aquitaine regions.
It is committed to supporting medical, biotech or cosmetic companies in their innovation processes, coordinating the network and field within its geographic scope, representing its companies at local, regional, national and even international level, and providing its members with new opportunities for business or joint ventures.
These stakeholders include cutting-edge companies that are developing major medical and/or life science solutions. Take Sanodev for example, whose disinfection processes are hailed in the industrial and agri-food sectors…
In the medical sector, significant surgical innovations have been possible thanks to I-Ceram’s ceramic implants. The company Oncomedics specializes in tailoring cancer treatments around patients’ individual needs, by developing in vitro diagnostic medical devices. In this way, it lends invaluable support to practitioners (surgeons, anatomopathologists and oncologists) in their decisions to identify the most effective treatments for patients.
A proactive interclustering strategy
InvivoLim has actively embarked on an operational grouping process with other health clusters in Nouvelle-Aquitaine with a view to promoting new synergies for action.
The network is now part of the new expertise center ALLiance Innovation Santé Nouvelle-Aquitaine (ALLIS-NA). This serves the needs of all those working in the Health field across the region, catering to a twofold demand for competitive support for Health innovation stakeholders and scaling up of local economic growth.
ALLIS-NA seeks to be a facilitator at the service of this vibrant ecosystem with wide-ranging needs and has national and international ambitions in its sights to deliver the most fitting solutions right across the value chain, particularly by relying on an extensive network of experts and support structures.
Partnering with Health innovation professionals, facilitating connections and alliances, representing and promoting the field, ramping up the pace of value creation and business growth: these are the center’s missions, by supporting Health stakeholders in the drug, biotherapy, biotech, medical device, diagnosis, digital health & big data, DTx, imaging, P6 medicine and care pathway spheres.