Three innovative small companies have each been awarded government contracts worth £100,000 to develop new services that aim to help older adults live independently for longer through adopting better approaches to food and nutrition.
The awards follow the companies' success in the Independence Matters - Home and Away competition for development contracts, a joint programme between the Technology Strategy Board and the Design Council. The contracts, awarded through the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), will enable the three companies to work with designers to develop human-centred service solutions that help to ensure the independence of adults in older age, and which are ready to be scaled-up and rolled out to the commercial market.
The companies awarded the funding are:
Casserole is a modern twist on the meals on wheels service which will connect food enthusiasts in the community to cook an extra plate or two of home-made food for people in their area who would benefit from it. Casserole aims to connect communities one good shared meal at a time.
Sidekick Ventures (London)
League of Meals is a tool to digitise older adults' home recipes, share them with a private network, and enable them and others to organise social meal events to enjoy home-cooking.
VISION Culture CIC (Worcester)
Improving Nutrition in Older People will test and develop a service that will improve the knowledge and skills of older people in order to maintain their long-term well-being in a less clinical manner.
"These next-generation services will help us maintain our quality of life as we age," commented Mat Hunter, Design Council's Chief Design Officer. "All three teams show how understanding real, human needs inspires better solutions and we believe that this design-led approach will encourage the wider economy to embrace this emerging business opportunity. We look forward to seeing these compelling concepts brought to life and to market."