International Symposium Welfare Society

  • Joost Degenaar (Keynote/plenary speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference


Welfare society: actual conditions & challenges in the Netherlands and Europe, International Symposium Welfare Society Kochi University Japan d.d. 25-3-2014. Healthy Ageing in Europe Demographic Change and Healthy Ageing is one of the “grand societal changes” in the European Union. The new European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing has set priorities for Healthy Ageing for the coming years that will have an effect on the European research agenda for 2014-2020. In 2013 the European Union declared the Northern Netherlands a top three reference site in the field of active and Healthy Ageing.More information: Healthy Ageing in the Netherlands The population of the Netherlands amounts to 16 million people, 17% of which is now 65 or older. Demographic changes are expected to take place until 2050, and in 2050 about 30% of the population will be 65 or older. On average people live four to six years longer than we did thirty years ago. Simultaneously the age at which we develop chronic illnesses has fallen by seven years for men and 12 years for women. As this trend continues, in the future more people will face chronic conditions such as cancer, heart and vascular diseases, diabetes or Alzheimer’s, earlier in their lives. Combined with a longer life expectancy this means that they will be chronically ill for a larger part of their lives. In the past decades there has been a huge increase in the costs of the health care system in the Netherlands. Predictions are that in 2050 costs will rise to 25% of our Gross Domestic Product, making health care unaffordable in the long run. But if we invest in prevention and Healthy Ageing and change the health care system, many billions can be saved each year (M. Pomp, 2012, see ). There is a shift from the welfare state to the new participation society of today. During the period 1970-2000 many citizens in the welfare state retired from work between the ages of 55-62, and lived in care homes and nursing homes.In the new participation society people have to work until they are 67 years old and people have to stay in their own homes longer with the help of family, friends and neighbours. Health care tasks are moving from a national level to a regional level, but municipalities have to perform these tasks with less money. This is a big challenge for citizens, regional authorities, health care providers and other parties involved. Important themes for this societal transformation are: prevention; a total life cycle approach (from young to old); active participation of citizens; social participation; active and healthy life style, exercise, healthy food in the context of learning, working and living; new technologies and eHealth for the improvement of health care; reform of health care systems; cost reduction; the role of professionals. Healthy Ageing in the Northern Netherlands ‘Healthy Ageing’ is one of the main strategic goals in the North of the Netherlands. The Healthy Ageing Network Northern Netherlands (HANNN) is the knowledge network in the field of Healthy Ageing. The Northern Netherlands are a forerunner in innovation and research concerning Healthy Ageing. Key areas are: Care & Cure; Food & Nutrition, Healthy Lifestyle, Life Sciences and Medical Technology. Partners of the Healthy Ageing Network are very active in the transition to a new approach of participation and health care. One of the important partners is the University Medical Centre Groningen, with huge projects like Life Lines (a three-generation bio-bank for research on health and life-style) and Eriba (the European Research Institute on the biology of ageing). Other partners are the universities of the Northern Netherlands, health care and welfare providers, companies and the regional authorities.) More information: ; www.umcg.nlHealthy Ageing at Hanze University of Applied SciencesHanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen (Hanze UAS, Dutch: Hanzehogeschool Groningen) is the largest university of applied sciences in the Northern Netherlands and is located in Groningen. Hanze University offers various Bachelor and Master programmes in Dutch, English, and German, and works closely with international partner institutes. Hanze University has approximately 25.000 students and 2.700 employees. Healthy Ageing is one of the strategic priorities of Hanze UAS. Healthy Ageing is focused on growing up healthily and ageing actively and healthily. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is extremely important, with a focus on physical activity, nutrition, work and the living environment. Many members of the university are actively contributing to this theme within the university, both through courses and practice-oriented research.Within Hanze UAS, over 20 bachelor’s and master’s degree courses have incorporated the theme of ‘Healthy Ageing’ into their programmes. There are also specific programmes on Healthy Ageing, for example the honours programme Healthy Ageing.A great deal of Hanze University’s applied research focuses on various aspects of Healthy Ageing. Over 20 research groups and around 75 lecturers/researchers are working on this theme and 26 staff members are conducting PhD research in this field. Innovation and valorization (including societal and economic impacts) are key elements in various ongoing Healthy Ageing projects, which are being carried out with partner organizations and industry professionals. More information: Healthy AgeingCentre of Expertise Healthy AgeingIn January 2013 Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen started the Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing, together with a wide range of partners. The centre focuses on innovation in health care (growing up healthy & Healthy Ageing). This four-year project, which will cost a total of 16 million Euros is funded primarily by the partners and by a four million Euro grant from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. Among the centre’s partners in the three northern provinces of the Netherlands are the four Universities of Applied Sciences, the University of Groningen (RUG), the University Medical Centre Groningen (UMCG), a great number of companies and health care facility providers, municipal and provincial authorities and various other organizations, such as HANNN. Currently more than 80 partners are already involved. In the coming four years the Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing will be setting up a network of 25 health care innovation programmes in the Northern Netherlands: innovation labs with pilot projects in which researchers, teachers, students, businesses and healthcare and welfare institutions will jointly find solutions for problems people encounter in daily care. Knowledge institutions, care and welfare institutions and companies are going to work together on new services and products. The first 18 living labs started in 2013 and 2014, on themes like Active Ageing, Healthy Food, eHealth and Serious gaming, Quality of Living in care, living and leisure, Healthy Ageing at Work and Participation in the community. More information: , soon also available in English. Joost Degenaar is Programme Director Healthy Ageing at Hanze University of Applied Sciences, and Director of the Centre of Expertise Healthy Ageing. From 2004-2010 he was Director of Education and Research of Hanze UAS. From 1993 he was involved in different roles in innovation at the Faculty of Technology of Hanze UAS. He started his career in Health Education, after graduating from the University of Utrecht in 1981.
Period25 Mar 2014
Event typeConference
LocationKami, Kōchi, JapanShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • welfare states
  • demographic changes
  • participation