The government has pledged £300m of funding towards research and innovations to help tackle the challenges the UK faces with an ageing society.
According to the government, more than 10 million people in the UK can expect to see their 100th birthday compared with the 15,000 centurions alive today.
£98m of the £300m investment will go towards a ‘healthy ageing programme' that aims to drive development of new products and services that will help people live in their homes for longer, tackle loneliness and increase independence and wellbeing. Of that, £40m will go to into the UK Dementia Research Institute.
Meanwhile £210m will be put towards a ‘data to early diagnosis and precision medicine programme' to improve diagnosis of disease and develop new medical treatments and technologies.
Business secretary Greg Clark said the funding would help revolutionise the way Brits age and "provide everyone with the best possible chance to grow old with dignity in their own home".
Minister of State for Care Caroline Dinenage added: "As a society we are living longer - a child born today can expect to live to 100 years - but now we must seize the opportunity to improve the quality of lives lived longer.
"These investments will not only help in our aims to make this the best country in the world to live with dementia but provide a revolutionary vital boost to develop and scale up products and services of the future, ensuring everyone can age well and live more independently throughout their lives."
‘True financial challenge'
Aegon pensions director Steven Cameron welcomed the funding, but said the £300m investment was "dwarfed by the true financial challenge" if people were to live longer, healthier lives.
"Whatever your outlook, additional government Industrial Strategy funding to research the challenges of our ageing society is a welcome step - particularly if it leads to earlier diagnosis and new treatments, meaning not just longer lifespans but longer healthier lives," he said.
"The £300m funding for research is, however, dwarfed by the true financial challenge if individuals are to make the most of longer healthier lives. And with numbers needing long-term care in later retirement likely to keep growing, these figures emphasise the urgency for government to advance its proposals on social care funding. People need to know what the state will provide and what they will be required to fund for themselves ."
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