Welcome to the Region

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It is with the greatest of pleasure that I, as President of the Apulia Region, can open the doors of our land to the wind of Innovation of the 3rd  AAL Forum.

Our regional policies are well aware of the new European population estimates, according to which the number of elderly persons will quickly increase. This demographic development and the ageing of the European population will lead to a growing number of older people living alone and in need of (intensive) care, to an ageing workforce in general and to more financially well appointed and wealthy senior citizens ready to enjoy their forth age. They will spend money on products securing and enhancing their wealth, safety and security and will have significant entertainment and communications needs. Considering that this trend will also be accompanied by a rapid growth in the number of people with physical disabilities, it is clear that the problem of care and assistance to these persons will become more and more important both from a social and an economic point of view.

These societal trends will lead to dramatic challenges for the healthcare and care systems, state pensions’ schemes and employers alike, but at the same time they will offer innovation and business opportunities for technology providers in the field of “Ambient Assisted Living” (AAL).

AAL can help elder individuals to improve their quality of life, to stay healthier and to live longer, thus extending one’s active and creative participation in the community. The Apulia Regional Government has recently promoted a series of interesting initiatives in order to increase awareness about these so important social issues not only of the local authorities but also of the public opinion. 

Nevertheless, Research and Innovation play a key role in economic development strategy of the Region, and I firmly state the AAL Forum represents a remarkable chance for underline our involvement in welfare technology.

Hosting the AAL Forum, gives us the opportunity not only of projecting Apulia in a high-tech European reality, but also of placing our Region in a cutting edge position, alongside other important Italian regions. The event is also the result of the strong interest of the Regional Welfare and Social Policies Department and its Regional Minister, Dr. Elena Gentile, who strongly believes in the power of Technologic Innovation to improve life conditions of our people.

Welcome to Apulia region and to the AAL Forum.

Nicola Vendola

President of the Apulia Region