Standards Australia has released an Issues Paper titled The Role of Standards and Innovation for Driving APEC’s Silver Economy, providing insights to assist Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) member economies to prepare for the challenges and opportunities created by ageing societies.
In 2016, Standards Australia and the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, on behalf of the Australian Government, commenced an APEC project to examine how standards and innovation can support the multifaceted societal challenge facing APEC member economies.
This Issues Paper, the first of its kind in APEC, has been produced by Standards Australia and is based on the results of a region wide survey conducted late last year. The findings and insights will form the foundation of a workshop to be hosted by Standards Australia in Sydney on 4-5 April 2017.
The report has recommended that:
  1. There is strong support to make the silver economy issues mainstream in APEC’s broader agenda. Ageing populations within society can be seen as a driver of future business opportunities and economic growth.
  2. There is an identified need to develop a Voluntary Action Plan which includes adopting and using international standards to foster innovation solutions.
  3. APEC should consider developing a five-year silver economy standardisation roadmap with a focus on leveraging a range of sectoral standards and innovation supported by National Standards Bodies (NSBs).
  4. Before the baby-boom generation retires, APEC members have a window of opportunity to tackle these challenges. However, the APEC survey highlights that the community is largely unware of their governments’ and NSB’s work to prepare for the silver economy.
  5. APEC should consider funding pilot projects that link standards and innovation to create new products, services and technologies to address market gaps.

CEO of Standards Australia, Dr Bronwyn Evans, explained that “the Issues Paper has been developed with a view to inform and enhance regional dialogue and stimulate wider consideration of the current and future role of standards and innovation within APEC’s emerging silver economy.

“We are excited to see the outcomes that will emerge from this initiative to support ageing populations and encourage business growth in the region,” said Dr Evans.
The project is funded through the Australian Government’s APEC Economic Diplomacy Fund, managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
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