COST Action Objectives

CA19136 - NET4Age-Friendly

The main objective of NET4Age-Friendly is to develop an international ecosystem based on a network of researchers and stakeholders that enables the practice and deployment of SHAFE.

The primary purpose is to reach every COST country for spreading awareness and developing the concept of SHAFE in rural and urban areas. The indicator for the main objective is to have local or regional ecosystems on SHAFE in at least half of the COST countries involved in this COST Action.

The NET4Age-Friendly COST Action is unique:

It aims to address a crucial gap in COST Actions related to age-friendly design of environments, in particular the impact of digital innovation and smart infrastructure on the future development of our communities in a growing ageing population. It will complement the already existing networks and partnerships (as mentioned in the state of the art) and COST Actions, by joining expertise from a variety of partners across Europe with an important added value of experts involved on voluntary basis from outside the European context.

It will also add an inclusive, multidisciplinary approach, by creating synergies between multidisciplinary research activities in networks, to the previous and current work of COST Actions.

Specific Objectives

To achieve the main objective described, the following specific objectives shall be accomplished:


NET4Age-Friendly will be a network of social and technical scientists, that closely cooperates with stakeholders such as citizens, public authorities, NGOs and businesses, bringing together scientific disciplines such as ICT, economics, sociology, medicine, engineering, architecture, and design. In order to ensure the impact and quality of the Action, the Management Committee and all experts involved in NET4Age-Friendly will make sure the following Research Coordination Objectives (RCO) will be achieved:

RCO1: To synthesise and improve existing knowledge from local, regional, national and international settings, disciplinary disparate dialogues in order to share a coherent scientific overview and dialogue for the design of SHAFE and integrated care pathways (WG1, WG2).

RCO2: To critically investigate the creation of innovative solutions of digital health that promote success and break down barriers, ensuring climate neutral and sustainable development and broad implementation of SHAFE (WG3).

RCO3: To assess the impacts of SHAFE across the life course within economic, social service, civil rights, political, environmental, and social spatial domains (WG4).

RC04: To envision a user-friendly, inclusive conceptual framework for SHAFE for a practical application in understanding the benefit of ICT for age-friendly design within cities, rural communities, neighbourhoods, buildings at European level (WG5).

RCO5: To ensure innovative, flexible, implementable, policy and practice exploitation through dissemination, networking and ecosystem strengthening across disciplines all over Europe and beyond (WG4).


Capacity-building is one of the core elements of NET4Age-Friendly. Capacity-building of ECIs and experienced scientists and practitioners to work interdisciplinary on societal challenges, of ICT researchers to co-create technology with end-users and of construction engineer scientists to involve ICT expertise and human behavioural patterns. To support individual mobility and to foster collaboration between individuals, NET4Age-Friendly will make use of the COST Action Short Term Scientific Missions (STSM) instrument in an open call to expand the network of ECIs, as  well as training schools and international collaboration.

NET4Age-Friendly will encourage and enable multidisciplinary working and the following Capacity building Objectives (CBO) will be achieved under the supervision of the Management Committee:

CBO1: To establish an innovative, transnational, and participatory network involving researchers, practitioners, policy stakeholders and citizens, to improve interdisciplinary participation regardless their age and gender, in the knowledge sharing and networking activities for developing SHAFE (WG5).

CBO2: To foster international cooperation between researchers from COST Countries, especially ITC, and researchers from NNCs and IPCs, by bringing together different disciplines to enable breakthrough developments in the field of climate-neutral built and social environment, healthcare and well-being and ICT (WG1, 2, 3).

CBO3: To promote knowledge exchange and to foster a cross-European interdisciplinary research capacity, enhancing ECI development, by actively ensuring a gender balance procedure across participants, including each COST Action member to enable to advise on the implementation of SHAFE at local, regional or national level and in urban, rural and remote areas (WG4, 5).

CBO4: To improve the cooperation and co-creation with cross-sectors stakeholders, such as citizens’ organisations, companies, care providers and public authorities for driving a collaborative cross-European programme that cements the participation and leadership of ITCs in the field of age-friendly design (WG1, 2, 3, 4).

CBO5: To introduce and educate students, ECIs, entrepreneurs and other interested parties, including a citizen-oriented awareness approach by implementing the understanding and importance of future developments of SHAFE for a sustainable European society (WG5).

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