Arthur is a 65-year-old who retired just 5 years ago from a successful career in corporate finance. He is now being moved to retirement home as he cannot take care of his needs independently. He thinks back to the time when all he needed to refresh was a fishing trip by himself, but with his advancing age and illnesses, he cannot imagine taking a trip on his own. Although he knows that he will be tended to by the staff at his retirement home, Arthur feels melancholic over how quickly he has succumbed to the perils of old age.
At this retirement home, and others all around the world, many senior citizens resonate with these emotions. The impact of several thousand people being admitted to retirement homes is also burdening the institutions to accommodate the costs of providing care to the elderly.
The population ageing trend shows that the fraction of people above 60 is growing , and by 2050 it is expected that there will be more people above 60 than there will be people between the ages 10-24 (United Nations report).
This important shift in world demographics has created a unique investment opportunity in gerontechnology ecosystem, the field of researching and developing technology that improves the ageing process.
Gerontechnology ecosystem presents itself as a profitable investment, with a cumulative annual growth rate of 5.5% between 2021 to 2026. The evidence is in the growing market which present gaps such as manufacturing products that can aid seniors in living independently.
The scale of innovations in gerontech ranges from mind-controlled cochlear implants to a smart-cities for high quality life past 60.
Although there is a clear opportunity for investment while addressing this emerging demographic challenge, the field of gerontech is relatively new and underdeveloped.
Researchers working on gerontech innovation need fiscal and infrastructural support to develop prototypes and bring products to market. For this, the academics first need access to medical research to identify the arising needs of the older population.
There is potential for the government to reduce expenditure on maintaining retirement homes and instead realign resources and invest in gerontech to make seniors self-reliant. Venture capitalists must be brought into the loop and connected with innovators to scale up manufacturing with research and development funding.
Gerontechnology ecosystem engages many disciplines and institutions ranging from medical and technological experts to government bodies and investors. Collectively, these parties can help create a world where ageing with dignity, independence and good health is possible.
Xavor’s Gerontechnology Incubator is a shared platform where stakeholders engage, partner and collaborate to create technology that will make the elderly self-reliant and enrich the ageing experience.
The Gerontech Incubator lies at the center of the ecosystem which relies on research from universities, hospitals and research labs and funding from government bodies and venture capital firms. The incubator therefore serves the interests of all parties involved in advancing gerontechnology.
The gerontech platform will serve four key functions to advance the goal of gerontechnology and prepare the world for the eminent challenges.
- The Gerontech incubator is primarily meant to be a knowledge center for research and development. Here, budding inventors will interact with industry thought leaders and innovate solutions to the challenges arising with the ageing trend. The platform will enable researchers from multiple disciplines to collaborate and contribute to the knowledge pool.
- The gerontech platform is ground zero for networking whether it is between government officials and researchers or venture capitalists looking to mass produce a promising invention. The incubator will allow better resource utilization through discussion, having a synergistic impact.
- Through inclusion of venture capitalists and industry leaders, researchers and inventors have access to top level consultancy. Testing new products will be possible through an extensive laboratory set up at the gerontech incubator. This will expedite the process of creating solutions for challenges faced by the ageing population and making them ready for public use.
- Researchers will be invigorated to bring new inventions to market by sourcing funding and relying on the venture capitalists’ expertise to introduce products to customers.
Xavor’s gerontech ecosystem holds great potential for turning a population crisis into a growth opportunity for the world. The progress achieved through the gerontech incubator will allow the elderly to truly age with dignity and increase the span of functional life. Xavor endeavors to create a frontier of gerontech innovation which will open avenues for uninhibited growth.
Footnote: This blog is a part 1 of the Gerontechnology Ecosystem blog series.