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Put your thinking caps on - ILC-UK and Just Group unveil shortlist of key later life vulnerability challenges

  • Major UK organisations including BT, the Church of England and NS&I engage with Innovating for Ageing initiative to highlight major problems facing ageing population
  • Shortlist of problems includes isolation, digital exclusion and financial capability
  • Details to be revealed to creative-thinkers and tech-leaders at “problem pitch” presentations on June 19 at Campus London.

Many of the toughest problems facing people in later life have been highlighted in the first stage of the Innovating for Ageing initiative that aims to provide solutions to organisations and businesses serving vulnerable people in later life.

The International Longevity Centre – UK (ILC-UK) and Just Group have analysed the submissions and created a shortlist to take forward that helps deal with ageing issues such as cognitive decline, failing physical health, loneliness and digital exclusion.

Organisations whose submissions were accepted will pitch their ideas to a range of creative thinkers from the “solutions community” – technology experts, innovators and leaders from industry and regulators – at an event on June 19 at Campus London, Google’s space for some of London’s newest and brightest businesses.

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

“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,” said Stephen Lowe, Group Communications Director at Just Group.

 “Now that we have highlighted some of the key problems in this shortlist, we have a good foundation to reach out to those innovative and creative thinkers who can work together on finding technology and policy solutions.”

David Sinclair, Director of ILC-UK said: “Organisations as diverse as BT, the Church of England, Affinity Water 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.

Start-ups, tech-leaders and other innovators interested in attending the pitch event on June 19 should contact info@innovatingforageing.uk for further details. Solutions can be submitted up to August 12 with an awards ceremony in October where winners will present their ideas.

Award Categories and Shortlisted Companies

End of life planning:

Supporting vulnerable consumers towards the end of their lives

  • Anthemis: end of life planning and consumer vulnerability
  • Legal & General Home Finance: complexity of Lasting Power of Attorneys
  • Compassion in Dying: ability to put plans in place

Identifying vulnerability:

Helping organisations identify, segment and share information about vulnerable consumers

  • Affinity Water: risk sharing
  • IDS Financial Services: addressing and recording vulnerability
  • Thistle Initiatives: identifying vulnerable customers
  • Professor Angela Kydd: creating and sharing a standard taxonomy of vulnerability

Digital exclusion:

Improving connectivity for the most vulnerable

  • NS&I: instilling confidence in digital transactions
  • Leeds City Council: improving digital literacy
  • Ransackers Association: approach of retailers selling connectivity hardware, e.g. smartphones
  • Financial Services Consumer Panel: encouraging adoption of online services

Isolation & loneliness:

Addressing isolation and loneliness among vulnerable consumers

  • BT: loneliness, isolation and mental health
  • Church of England: need for innovation in transport
  • Sidney de Haan Research Centre for Arts and Health (Canterbury Christ Church University): collation and information sharing around creative activities

Money matters:

Improving financial capability and reducing the risk of scams

  • LEBC: financial capability
  • TPAS: scams
  • Innovate UK: secure and easy to use payment systems

“Surprise us”:

Any areas not covered in the above categories

  • Ian Sissons: integrating monitoring systems
  • UCL Department of Behavioural Science and Health: promoting healthy adult lifestyles
  • University of Cumbria: healthcare for those with poor dexterity


Dave Eaton at ILC-UK davideaton@ilcuk.org.uk 020 7340 0440 or 07531 164 886.


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


Notes to Editors

Innovating for Ageing was launched by Just, 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.