NET4Age-Friendly Report on Policies, Strategies and Funding for Active and Healthy Aging (SHAFE)

The Action COST NET4Age-Friendly is a key project of the European initiative SHAFE - Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments. NET4Age-Friendly is an international interdisciplinary research network, which currently brings together 300 researchers from 46 countries and runs during a period of 4 years (Oct 2020-Oct 2024).


The working group “Impact and sustainability of SHAFE” coordinated by Prof. Univ. Dr. Luiza Spiru, launched in the first year of activity the D4 report on SHAFE policies, strategies, and funding in the participating countries.

The report was released on December 21, 2021, it has 153 pages and it is the result of 85 researchers' work, from 37 countries. On behalf of Romania, Prof. Univ. Dr. Luiza Spiru, President of the Ana Aslan International Foundation and member of the project management committee, together with Flaviana Rotaru, President of ROHEALTH - Cluster for Health and Bioeconomy and Dr. Cosmina Paul, researcher of the Foundation

SHAFE and NET4Age-Friendly are international networks that engage all levels of society with the intrinsic aim of promoting the development of local, regional or national inclusive ecosystems (composed of a quadruple helix of citizens, public authorities, companies/NGOs, and researchers) which interact and coordinate at the international level.

To promote social inclusion, independent living, and active and healthy aging in society, the COST NET4Age-Friendly Action has created an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers and stakeholders from all sectors. Its purpose is to encourage awareness and support the creation and implementation of smart and healthy internal and external environments for present and future generations. The project is funded by the European Commission's COST  Program (European Cooperation in Science and Technology).

NET4Age-Friendly further aims to overcome fragmentation and critical gaps at both conceptual and pragmatic innovation levels on responsive, age-friendly, and sustainable environments in order to address the research-policy future requirements of Europe.

The authors of the D4 Report on SHAFE policies, strategies and funding have analyzed existing policies, lobbying, and funding opportunities to build relationships with policy-makers and funding organizations.

As a first step towards aligning standards across all Member States, the current report has mapped out existing differences and proposed approaches as a basis for actions over the next three years to increase the capacity of networking and funding communities.

Thus, in order to maintain the established ecosystems, the partners will invest in the creation of networks composed of a quadruple helix (citizens, public authorities, companies/NGOs, and researchers) and maintain ecosystems, create small groups of buddy or mentor system for creating ecosystems, elaborate business modeling to identify opportunities on SHAFE, and the funding opportunities will be further sustained.

ROHEALTH - The Cluster for Health and Bioeconomy is contributing to the activities of the NET4Age-Friendly initiative both directly and through the involvement of the representatives of its members ANA ASLAN International Foundation, the University Politehnica of Bucharest,  "CAROL DAVILA" University of Medicine and Pharmacy in Bucharest (UMFCD) and the UMFCD e-Health Innovation Center (CIeH).

SHAFE started as a thematic network, approved by the European Commission, to draw the attention of decision-makers, organizations, and citizens to the need for a better alignment between health, social assistance, built environments, and ICT, both in terms of policies and financing.

SHAFE (Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments) is currently coordinated by Carina Dantas and Willeke van Staalduinen and has over 170 partner organizations. The involvement of so many organizations and individuals in Europe shows that the ideas that SHAFE embodies have come at the right time:


More about SHAFE

In November 2021, in the 25th issue of the Technium Social Sciences Journal, under the generic title of "A New Decade for Social Change," an article on SHAFE was published by Carina Dantas, Willeke. van Staalduinen, Prof. Dr. Maddalena Illario and Prof. Dr. Luiza Spiru.

Abstract: ”The meaning and notion of Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments ( SHAFE) as a holistic approach that promotes the alignment of policies and strategies across domains is a unique roadmap for the implementation of inclusive communities in and across Europe, improving and supporting independent life throughout its entire course, regardless of age, gender, disabilities, cultural differences, and personal choices. When we acknowledge the serious challenges especially those related to demographic change and the COVID-19 pandemic, it is not possible anymore to still work in silos or to keep positions for individual interest. Before any other role, we all are citizens and we have a duty as researchers, academics, policy-makers, practitioners, industry, and business to work together for a better world.”


More about NET4Age-Friendly

The main approach of NET4Age-Friendly is the establishment of new local or regional ecosystems or by expanding existing ones in each country involved, according to the quadruple helix of innovation,  to work on health and wellbeing in an age-friendly digital world. The ecosystems will consist of citizens, public authorities, businesses/NGOs, and research and will be supported by five thematic Working Groups:

• User-centred inclusive design in age-friendly environments and communities (WG1)

• Integrated health and well-being pathways (WG2)

• Digital solutions and large-scale sustainable implementation (WG3)

• SHAFE impact and sustainability: policy development, funding forecast, and cost-benefit evaluations (WG4)

The outcomes of the first four thematic Working Groups will be obtained in the work of a 5th one, creating a synergised output - the Reference Framework.

Flyer NET4Age-Friendly



About NET4Age-Friendly -

Flyer NET4Age-Friendly -

„D4 Report on SHAFE policies, strategies and funding” -

About SHAFE -

SHAFE explained in Technium Social Sciences Journal (Nov. 2021)  -

COST European Cooperation in Science and Technology -