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SIE Fund invites proposals for provision of intermediary services to design, develop and operate gerontechnology platform
     The Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development Fund (SIE Fund) Task Force is inviting interested parties to submit proposals to act as an intermediary to design, develop and operate a gerontechnology platform with the goal of fostering the development of the gerontechnology ecosystem in Hong Kong.
     Hong Kong's population is ageing rapidly. Statistics show that by 2040, approximately 30 per cent of local population will be aged 65 or over. However, the future ageing population will be better educated and wealthier. In 2016, 25 per cent of local population aged 60 or above had received senior secondary or tertiary education and the corresponding figures for those aged 50-59 and 40-49 were 51 per cent and 67 per cent respectively. The latter two groups of future elderly are expected to seek a more self-reliant and quality-living lifestyle after retirement.
     Since 2016, the SIE Fund has been exploring ways to address the challenges and opportunities arising from an ageing population through innovative means and more extensive cross-sector collaboration. Gerontechnology, combining gerontology with technology, is widely recognised as key to this end. As an inter- and multi-disciplinary sector focusing on the application of technology towards elderly related products and services, gerontechnology can help enhance the well-being, quality of life, independence and self-reliance of the elderly, and provide support to the families, caregivers, healthcare institutions and staff.  
     The Fund engaged the Hong Kong Council of Social Service in February 2017 to conduct the first landscape study on gerontechnology in Hong Kong and organise a cross-sector workshop. The study report found major difficulties faced by the gerontechnology sector including insufficient collaboration among stakeholders, difficulty in localising overseas successful products, lack of testing ground for product development and others. In light of the report, stakeholders from different sectors suggested the Fund should consider establishing a gerontechnology platform to link up different stakeholders with the aim of fostering the development and application of gerontechnology in Hong Kong.
     Upon further consultation with stakeholders through an extensive engagement programme in 2018, the SIE Fund plans to engage an intermediary to design, develop and operate an inclusive platform that will link up different stakeholders on the supply side and connect them with the demand side of the gerontechnology ecosystem through engagement, cross-sector partnerships and collaborations. The platform will comprise four basic functionalities, namely (1) a knowledge hub; (2) network and capacity building; (3) consultancy, localisation and testing support; and (4) impact assessment.
     Interested parties are invited to submit proposals to act as the intermediary for the gerontechnology platform. An invitation brief setting out the scope of services, eligibility and submission requirements, the assessment process and selection criteria, key engagement terms, etc, is available for download on the SIE Fund website (www.sie.gov.hk/en/what-we-do/gerontech.page). Proposals should be submitted by 6pm on July 23. For further information and inquiries, please visit the SIE Fund website or contact the SIE Fund Task Force Secretariat at 2165 7389.
     The SIE Fund was inaugurated in 2013 as a catalyst for social innovation in Hong Kong. The Fund collaborates with different sectors including businesses, non-governmental organisations, academics and philanthropies, to create social impact through innovative solutions that address poverty and social exclusion, and seeks to foster the well-being and cohesion of society. In addition to nurturing social ventures through intermediaries' programmes, the Fund also actively identifies service gaps across the whole of Hong Kong where there is a need for greater co-ordination and collaboration to achieve a bigger impact and funds infrastructure or institutions to help plug these gaps. The establishment of the gerontechnology platform is the second flagship project commissioned by the Fund, riding on the success of the first project launched in 2016 to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the overall food support service in Hong Kong.
Ends/Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Issued at HKT 14:52
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