The objective of the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP) is to enhance the quality of life of older people and strengthen the industrial base in Europe through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The motivation of the new funding activity is in the demographic change and ageing in Europe, which implies not only challenges but also opportunities for the citizens, the social and healthcare systems as well as industry and the European market. Main activity under the AAL Joint Programme is the funding of R&D projects in the AAL domain that result from regularly published calls for proposals.


Personal engagement in frequent or various social, intellectual, and physical activities.


Age is not a question of numbers - instead of thinking in chronological age, E2C works with a three-parted concept of age shortly introduced - with a few risk factors for loneliness - as consisting of: Social/cultural age (retirement and cultural stigmas), Biological/bodily age (physical deficiencies, disabilities, illnesses) and Psychological/mental age (cognitive problems, great upheavals and personal losses of dear ones).


Types of ageing (Moschis 1996)
1) Biological: Changes in cells and tissues resulting in the physical deterioration of the biological system and its susceptibility to disease and mortality.
2) Psychological: Development and changes in a) cognition - i.e. the process of perception, memory, judgement, reasoning, and decision making, and b) personality and self - i.e. how others see you with respect to your attitudes and behaviours; and how one sees himself, ideal self, and the fit between the two.
3) Social: Changing composite of social relationships, lifestyles, attributes and attitudes, and assumption of social roles people are expected to play at various stages of life.


A physical situation that is not necessarily interlinked with the feeling of being lonely.


A term for collaborative creation; a people-centred methodology that designers and developers use to establish a dialogue or partnership with a product's or service's end users, in order to make the solution more relevant, attractive and efficient.


Community is a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household.


Dementia is a serious loss of cognitive ability in a previously unimpaired person, beyond what might be expected from normal ageing. Covering a range of different types and diagnoses, dementia may be static, the result of a unique global brain injury, or progressive, resulting in long-term decline due to damage or disease in the body. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.

Elderly people

A shared marker for being an elderly person is not determined by chronological age in itself; instead what is crucial to the transition into 'the third age' in the (Northern) European societies is that the systemic social ordering of people demands retirement at a certain age often around 65. Elderly persons are just as individually different as young people and all other adults - hence the term itself doesn't make sense as one category.


A respectful, American, naming of people who have lived longer than 'the average'.


An end-user is the person who uses a product or a service; an organizational user (work context) or a consumer. The end-user may differ from the person who purchases the product.

Ethnographic research

Ethnography, embedded in anthropological tradition, is essentially the study of a particular cultural group or phenomenon. Fieldwork is a fundamental part of that study, and for anthropologists, ethnographic research involves documenting people's beliefs and practices from the people's own perspectives.

Express to Connect

Express to Connect (E2C) is a development project funded by the European Commission under the Ambient Assisted Living Joint Programme (AAL JP). The project started in March 2010 and will run for 36 months. The overall objective for the E2C Consortium is to develop, test and deploy a web service which stimulates and facilitates personal storytelling. It also enables interest-based connections and communications among elderly people hereby embowering them and enriching their lives.

Living lab

A living lab is a user-centred, open-innovation ecosystem, often operating in a territorial context (e.g. city, agglomeration, region), integrating concurrent research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership.


A subjective feeling and perception of unwanted lack of social relations or poor quality in those relations that are present. "People can live rather solitary lives and not feel lonely, or they can have many social relationships and nevertheless feel lonely. Consequently loneliness is more closely related to the perceived quality than the quantity of social relationships" (The Chicago Ageing, Health and Social Relations Study, 2008).

Open innovation

Open innovation is a paradigm that assumes that firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to market, as the firms look to advance their technology. The central idea behind open innovation is that in a world of widely distributed knowledge, companies cannot afford to rely entirely on their own research, but should instead buy or license processes or inventions from other companies. In addition, internal inventions not being used in a firm's business should be taken outside the company.

Pharma 3.0

Pharma 3.0 is a concept for the new generation pharmaceutical industry. It includes, beyond medical products, mobile health, social media and web-based patient-outreach, patient controlled medical devices, and partnerships with non-traditional business organisations (such as telecommunications firms).


The word is used to denote whatever prevents something else from happening or occurring, especially when it is undesirable.

Quality of life

Individuals' perception of their position in life in the context of the culture and value systems in which they live and in relation to their goals, expectations, standards and concerns. It is a broad ranging concept affected in a complex way by the person's physical health, psychological state, level of independence, social relationships, personal beliefs and their relationship to salient features of their environment. (WHO 1997)


Persons connected with each other by blood or affinity.

Risk factors

Unwanted and/or unforeseen changes and upheavals that lead to greater, personal transitions, implying difficulties in accepting and adjusting to the new state of life.(see transitions)


A name for people with more experience and often more wisdom compared to younger people. Seniors do not necessarily see them self as old.

Social capabilities

Personal and relational abilities to create, maintain, adjust or redefine good quality relations. A matter of how to practice for instance honesty, confidence and intimacy in social relations.

Silver market

The current shift in demographics presents a major challenge to companies and societies alike. One particularly essential implication is the emergence and constant growth of the so-called "graying market" or "silver market", the market segment more or less broadly defined as those people aged 50 and older. Increasing in number and share of the total population while at the same time being relatively well-off, this market segment can be seen as very attractive and promising, although still very underdeveloped in terms of product and service offerings. (The Silver Market Phenomenon 2011)

Social connectedness

Social connectedness is in Express to Connect project perceived of as how individuals are functionally related to society in terms of producing, reproducing and consuming and emotionally related to other individuals with preference to either sharing or being alone. When for instance retirement implies that production is no longer a major part of life, the individual is likely to follow certain strategies in compensating for the 'missing link' - approached by feelings of grief or relief.

Social media

Social media are media for social interaction, using highly accessible and scalable publishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues where content is often user generated.

Social well-being

A question of how well a person feels about being together with others, and how well one feels about not being together with others.

Systemic innovation

Innovations that require significant adjustments in other parts of the business system they are embedded in; they often entail the coordination of different parts of the value network (Maula & Keil & Salmenkaita 2005).


Retirement, loss of dear ones and illness are transitions that impact and disturb our social lives and need great care to be taken (culturally, socially and personally) in order for people to get back on a - new - track, without risking or ending up in loneliness - due to the difficulties in adjusting to the new situation.

Urban area

An urban area is characterised by a higher population density and vast human features in comparison to areas surrounding it. Urban areas may be cities, towns or conurbations, but the term is not commonly extended to rural settlements such as villages and hamlets.

User innovation

User innovation refers to innovation by intermediate users (e.g. user firms) or consumer users (individual end users or user communities), rather than by suppliers.