1 out of every 4 residents
in Barcelona
will be over 65 in 2035


Improving the quality of life of the elderly through technology

The ageing of the population is a global phenomenon that affects all countries. Nowadays, approximately 10% of the world’s population is 60 years or older, but the proportion is expected to increase to around 20% by 2050. Ageing has profound implications on several aspects of daily life including health, housing, transportation, leisure, communication and personal and social relationships.

New technologies have the capacity to improve the quality of life of the elderly and can play an important role in optimizing their health and well-being, offering them support, assistance or prevention, helping them to stay at their homes (familiar living environment) as long as possible. In particular, the improvement is evident in cases of elderly people with dementia or neurodegenerative diseases in a non-dependent initial state.

Although the market has been very creative and there are already several solutions especially focused on the elderly, there is more to be done. It is important that new technological solutions are designed and adapted to their needs and that they consider their abilities, the ease of use, and that they respect the user’s privacy.

In this challenge, we seek truly disruptive and innovative digital and technological solutions, that have a positive impact on the daily life of the elderly to support them in living independently in their homes for longer.

  • Why it matters?
  • What are we looking for?
Why it matters?

At the European level, in 2016, around 20% of the population was 65 years or older. In Spain, the current numbers are around 19%.

In Catalonia, according to the data of Idescat (Institut d’Estadística de Catalunya) in 2018, 18.8% of the residents were over 65 years old and 6% were older than 80.

In the Catalan capital of Barcelona, things are no different. In 2014, out of 1,613,393 inhabitants, 345,969 were 65 years or older (21.4%). Population growth projections for the year 2026 indicate that the population of the city will continue an upward trend, while the population of older people will continue to grow, foreseeing that before 2035 one out of every four residents in Barcelona will be over 65.

1 in 5 elderly people in Spain lives alone. One of the most important aspects for these people is to be able to stay in their homes as long as possible (“age-in-place”), in a familiar environment with the ability to maintain their independence. However, over the years, some people no longer enjoy complete autonomy and need support to carry out daily activities. It is estimated that 5% of the European population over 65 will suffer some type of dementia or neurodegenerative disease, a percentage that will increase with age to reach 22% of the population aged 85 years and older (Lobo et al 2000). The technological advances of recent years can make possible the idea of moving elderly care activities to their homes and can help to implement efficient and high quality medical and social services in situ. This could contribute to the reduction of the cost of public care services.
Technology, providing solutions, can be a lever for improvement and accompaniment. There is evidence that technological support can generate important benefits for the elderly while improving the sustainability of social and health services.

What are we looking for?

In this challenge, we are looking for innovative digital and technological solutions that can have a positive impact on the daily life of the elderly to live independently at home, prolonging social activity, and mitigating, among others, cognitive deficiencies.

Integral solutions should focus on tackling different aspects, such as:

  • Problems to perform the basic activities of daily life (food, personal hygiene, movement within the home)
  • Problems in carrying out the instrumental activities of daily life (using transportation, communications, individualized health control, social relations, financial management)
  • Safety and mobility issues (inside and outside the house)

and many more.

The solutions should also support the development of new services, help overcome barriers to access more personalized services and be economically accessible.

In this challenge, technological solutions that leverage the capabilities of 5G technology (immediacy, real-time, almost unlimited connectivity and low energy consumption) will be positively valued. We are looking for solutions that consider a medium or long-term implementation of 5G technology, which will increase its performance, as well as expand its impact and scalability potential.

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Key dates


May 22

5 p.m. CET


May 22 – May 30

Up to 12 semi-finalists


May 30 – June 21

6 finalists to be announced


July 2019

Up to 2 winning solutions

Semi Finalists


  • Who can participate?
  • Can I submit an idea?
  • Can I submit my solution in Spanish or Catalan?
  • Is there any funding available for the winning solution?
  • Who will choose the winning solution?
  • Who can I contact if I have any further questions?
Who can participate?
We accept submissions from local, national and international legal organizations. There is no size or geographical restriction.
Can I submit an idea?
All submitted proposals need to be able to deliver concrete and measurable results and be ready for pilot implementation. The technologic elements of the solution also need to be ready for pilot implementation (TRL>6). You should provide as many details as possible in the submission form.
Can I submit my solution in Spanish or Catalan?
Yes. Submissions will be accepted in English, Spanish or Catalan.
Is there any funding available for the winning solution?
The winning solution will be supported financially on a case-by-case basis, being the winning solution responsible for a minimum of 20% of the total project budget. Financial project support is only available for activities and aspects directly related to the pilot implementation and it cannot include personnel, travelling and diet costs.
Who will choose the winning solution?
This Call for Proposals has three rounds of evaluation. A maximum of six proposals will pass to the last Round of evaluation. The jury is formed by a group of experts from the MWCapital, Barcelona City Council and 5GBarcelona initiative. You can find more details in the Call for Proposals Terms & Conditions.
Who can I contact if I have any further questions?
You can write to the d-LAB team at [email protected] We will get back to you as soon as possible from 9.30am to 6.30pm CET from Monday to Friday.