UK researchers among global winners in healthy ageing contest

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22 UK winners announced in a global competition that funds research in ways that improve all our lives as we age.

The winners included a robotic ‘knee,’ the use of mixed reality to tackle loneliness and the targeting of gut microbiota and sleep quality to promote healthy ageing.

The healthy ageing catalysts awards are designed to harness the most innovative, cutting edge and blue-sky ideas of researchers, the businesses they work with, and others. This is to create practical, scalable products and services that support us as we age.

Though funded by UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) healthy ageing challenge in the UK, winners are part of the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) healthy longevity global competition. Winners are also eligible for the later stages of that, including a $5 million grand prize.

A full list of the global winners, including those in the UK, was announced in the US this week.

UKRI healthy ageing challenge director, George MacGinnis, said:

By 2040 one in seven people in the UK will be 65 or older. We should be able to enjoy those extra years of life yet currently we can expect to live just half of the remainder of our lives without disability.

We want researchers, particularly those with an entrepreneurial spirit, to develop and deliver ideas to help all of us to stay active, productive and socially connected across the generations both now, and as we get older. This year’s winners include imaginative approaches to both the physical and social aspects of ageing and to issues that affect wider society.

Source: UK Research and Innovation.

Launched in April 2018, UKRI is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). They bring together the seven disciplinary research councils, Research England, which is responsible for supporting research and knowledge exchange at higher education institutions in England, and the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK. For more details go to: https://www.ukri.org/

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