A call for innovative ideas

by | December 10, 2016

A fourth grant call by the Government is looking for new assistive devices that will allow seniors to remain active and independent despite their disability.


Dr Amy Khor at the Duke-NUS CARE Conference on centenarians.

The Enabling Innovation Grant is the fourth grant call under the National Innovation Challenge (NIC) on Active and Confident Ageing and is looking for new assistive devices that are easy-to-use, safe, cost-effective and can effectively improve seniors’ function, shared Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health, during the Duke-NUS CARE Conference on centenarians in December. The deadline for submission of project abstract is January 23, 2017.

This latest grant call under the research thrust on “ageing-in-place” aims to develop innovative, game-changing solutions that enable seniors to remain active, independent and age-in-place despite their disability. Research may include redesign or use of new materials to enhance the capabilities of assistive devices and make them more affordable.

She shared the example of a redesign by a social enterprise called Solar Ear in Brazil that created a low-cost hearing aid using solar-powered chargers to help more people living in developing countries hear again.

Dr Khor added: “Through this grant call, we hope to attract multi-disciplinary research proposals that are scalable, sustainable and transform the way we see assistive devices today. More importantly, we want more seniors to benefit from these innovations and realise their aspirations to age-in-place independently.”

Awards for the winners include up to 80-percent funding of approved qualifying costs to develop and implement the solutions for up to three years, and some support for indirect costs.

Under the Action Plan for Successful Ageing, the Government has set aside up to S$200 million to establish NIC to seek innovative solutions to help seniors age well. The previous grant calls were for ideas in raising productivity of home care, making workplaces ageless, and delaying the onset of dementia. To date, the Government has awarded close to S$8 million to four multi-disciplinary teams under the Care-at-home Innovation Grant. This first grant call under the NIC aims to foster partnerships between home care and technological solution providers to co-create solutions in improving the productivity of home care.

Dr Khor shared that some interesting projects include an e-marketplace to match volunteers to care for seniors and a call centre service that will provide response to seniors in need. “We are in the midst of evaluating the proposals for the remaining two grants and results are expected to be announced in 2017,” she said.

NIC is administered by the NIC Programme Office within the Ministry of Health and is supported by the National Research Foundation, Prime Minister’s Office.

** For more information on the latest grant, go HERE.




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