Active aging: Open call for robotic based pre-commercial solutions

In the European Union, countries are facing tough times in the health and elderly care sector: while populations age and require more care services, countries are under pressure to make these services more cost efficient and effective. The pan-European SILVER project (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) aims to demonstrate how public services can be rejuvenated by procuring R&D services that will develop higher quality and more sustainable elderly care solutions.

The SILVER project searches for new, innovative ways to acquire public sector health services by utilizing a Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) process designed for optimally matching R&D with procurers' needs. The goal is to find new technologies to assist elderly people’s ability to continue living independently at home. By the use of robotics or other related technologies, the elderly are able to enjoy homelife even if they have physical or cognitive disabilities.

On the 1stof March 2013, an international Pre-Commercial Procurement call has been opened to acquire the research and development of new robotics based technologies that support independent living for the elderly. The total budget of the competition is 2,150,000 EUR. Registrations for the competition can be made via the SILVER webpage at

The call is available for offers until 12thof June 2013 and is open to bidders committed to perform the majority of the R&D work in the territory defined by the EU Member States and the countries associated to FP7. All tenders are evaluated according to the same objective criteria regardless of country of origin or company size.

When the call is closed, the Pre-Commercial Procurement process will be executed in three phases, ending in April 2016. The first phase is a feasibility study of the selected technologies and proposals. The most promising ideas will be developed into well-defined prototypes in phase two. The third phase aims to verify and compare the first end products in real-life situations. In the SILVER project up to three pre-products are to be tested in Denmark, Finland, Sweden, the Netherlands and United Kingdom.

The SILVER project has an ambitious goal to establish, and execute, a PCP process suitable for the conditions in the European Union. It aims to demonstrate the effectiveness of a Pre-Commercial Procurement approach when addressing societal and governmental needs. It also advocates wide implementation of the developed process in Europe.

”Through SILVER we are able to present that challenge to the market and let them come up with innovations we didn’t know were possible, and the market didn’t know were needed. As a result, we get solutions we can really use, and service providers can develop innovations they know will have a market.”, summarises Eva Sahlén, Social Services Director for the Västerås City, Sweden.

By 2020 new SILVER robotics solutions implemented in the care for the elderly are expected to make it possible to care for 10% more care recipients with the same number of care-givers. The aim is also to increase the quality of life for the elderly by making them more independent and improving their health.

Further information:

Project Coordinator
Stephen Browning
SBRI Account Manager
Technology Strategy Board
+ 44 1793 442700

SILVER (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) is a research and development project to establish and to execute a Pre-Commercial Procurement process suitable for the conditions for cross-border project implementation across several EU countries. It is funded by the European Union under the ICT cooperation part of the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7). The project started in January 2012 and will run for 51 months. SILVER has partners in Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden and United Kingdom.

About Us

SILVER The first objective of the SILVER (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) is to establish, and execute, an agreed PCP process to run a cross-border PCP call for tender. This generic process should also form a basis for national PCP calls designed outside of the SILVER project. The second objective is to use the PCP process developed in the project to identify new technologies and services to support the independent living of the elderly. SILVER (Supporting Independent LiVing for the Elderly through Robotics) is a development project funded by the European Commission under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development (FP7). The project started in January 2012 and will run for 51 months.