Focus on Healthy Ageing during US Mission

Headed by Ms. Edith Schippers, our Minister for Health, Welfare & Sport a Dutch, a delegation of Dutch Universities, Governmental officers and Entrepreneurs visited the United States of America from 31 May until 5 June for a business mission. The mission aimed successfully for partnerships across the ocean, focussed on shared challenges and smart solutions in the Agriculture and Food and Life Sciences & Health sector. Ernst van den Ende and Nico van Meeteren, respectively, acted as scientific mission leaders.

Important topics during the mission were ‘Healthy Ageing’ and ‘Feeding the City’. As both our populations are rapidly ageing and more people develop chronic illnesses, the challenge is to support people to maintain their activities within the society to preserve their vital functioning as long as possible. Technological and sociocultural innovations may help to realize an environment that supports independence and mobility. During the mission Minister Schippers stated that the creation of a healthy environment for elderly and chronically ill people not only improves their lives, but also the lives of their families and may also positively influence the society and the healthcare spending.

Among the many inspiring results of the mission, a formal partnership agreement between the Rehabilitation Institute Chicago and the Dutch IMDI “Neurocontrol” was signed and seven Dutch visiting professors were installed in the presence of our Royal Couple. At the end of the mission, the state of Massachusetts and the city of Boston agreed upon the exploration of deepening the mutual collaborations and, in line with these ambitions, a visit of the both of the Netherlands in 2016.