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Press release: Competition opens to find solutions to key challenges facing vulnerable consumers


  • Start-ups and innovators are today being encouraged to apply for a share of £10,000 worth of prizes through the Innovating for Ageing initiative
  • Organisations including BT, the Church of England and NS&I have set out problems facing ageing population for the solution finders to fix
  • Details to be revealed to creative-thinkers and tech-leaders on June 19 at Google’s Campus London

On 19th June entries opened for the Innovating for Ageing initiative, created by the independent think tank the International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) and specialist financial services firm Just Group.

ILC-UK and Just Group received over 80 submissions setting out problems faced by vulnerable consumers in later life from businesses, the public sector, charities and individuals. They analysed the submissions to create a shortlist of 20. Now, the competition is open for start-ups, innovators and solution finders to come up with creative solutions to these problems.

Organisations and individuals from the shortlisted 20 pitched their ideas to a range of creative thinkers from the solutions community at an event at Campus London, Google’s space for some of London’s newest and brightest businesses.

Solutions can be submitted until August 12 with an awards ceremony in the Autumn where winners will present their ideas. Prizes for solution finders will include professionally made promotional videos, branding consultation and specialist development support.

Shortlisted problems

The shortlisted problems were grouped into six categories to reflect common issues suffered by vulnerable consumers – end of life planning; identifying vulnerability; digital exclusion; isolation and loneliness; money matters; and a final “surprise us” catch-all category.

Examples of shortlisted problems include:

  • How to reduce pension scams, submitted by The Pensions Advisory Service. Over £200 million was stolen from pension savers by investment fraudsters in the 12 months to February 2018
  • How to identify and best serve vulnerable customers who ring call centres, submitted by BT. One BT customer called BT’s customer helpline more than 700 times in four months, resulting in £24,000 worth of unnecessary engineering call-outs

All of the shortlisted 20 problem submissions are available at:https://www.innovatingforageing.uk/reports-materials/

Stephen Lowe, Group Communications Director at Just Group, said:

“The range of issues put forward highlights how keen organisations are to work with others to find better ways to help people as they move through later life.”

“Now that we have highlighted some of the key problems in this shortlist, we encourage innovative and creative thinkers to help find technological and policy solutions.”

David Sinclair, Director of ILC-UK said:

“Organisations as diverse as BT, NS&I and Leeds City Council face a range of challenges but share a common need to engage with and help support their vulnerable customers in later life.

“By bringing together such an assortment of companies and industries, and putting them in front of some of the smartest tech and business minds in the country we hope to find a different way of approaching and tackling vulnerability.”


The Innovating for Ageing team at info@innovatingforageing.uk or 020 7340 0440.

Notes to Editors

Innovating for Ageing was launched by Just Group, with the support of the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK), in January 2018.

The project aims to identify solutions to the growing problem of vulnerability in later life by bringing together experts, innovators and groups who work to support vulnerable consumers.

Its objective is to identify and support the development of products and services that will address the challenges faced by ageing consumers at risk of vulnerability due to physical disability, illness, dementia or financial exclusion.

Innovating for Ageing responds to the increasing scrutiny by the Financial Conduct Authority of how financial services companies are addressing vulnerability. It has argued the market “is not serving many consumers in vulnerable circumstances consistently or well” and that “customers in vulnerable circumstances are being let down”.

We will look beyond financial services and improve every aspect of the consumer experience for vulnerable people across all sectors and disciplines, not just financial services.

Innovating for Ageing is a solutions-based project aimed at delivering improvements to vulnerable customers’ experiences with the products and services they encounter when dealing with businesses and organisations.


The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) is a futures organisation focussed on some of the biggest challenges facing Government and society in the context of demographic change.

Much of our work is directed at the highest levels of Government and the civil service, both in London and Brussels. We have a reputation as a respected think tank which works, often with key partners, to inform important decision-making processes.

Our policy remit is broad, and covers everything from pensions and financial planning, to health and social care, housing design, and age discrimination. We work primarily with central government, but also actively build relationships with local government, the private sector and relevant professional and academic associations.


Just Group (Just Group plc) is a FTSE-listed specialist UK financial services company created by the merger of Just Retirement Group and Partnership Assurance Group.

A leader in the individual retirement income, care and defined benefit de-risking markets, Just Group has been trusted to manage over £15 billion of customers’ retirement savings and has helped customers release over £3.5 billion from their properties.

Just Group provides a wide range of products, advice and professional services to individual customers, financial intermediaries, corporate clients and pension scheme trustees.