Just published: Silver Economy Study

Thursday, 17 May, 2018 - 15:10

Technopolis and Oxford Economics have recently published their much-anticipated report “The Silver Economy”. Conducted for the European Commission, in order to propose a multi-policy recommendation framework, the study analyses the development of the European Silver Economy over a 10-year period, starting in 2015, and provides an overview of the potentials of Europe’s Silver Economy through to 2025. Insights to the report have been presented by the Principle of Technopolis Group, Peter Varnai, during the first Silver Economy Awards Ceremony held at May 3rd 2018, who emphasised the need for a common vision, and more crucially, collaborative action across Europe. The PDF version of his talk can be downloaded here and a condensed summary of the talk follows hereinafter.

According to the report, the European Silver Economy currently constitutes the third largest economy in the world. Their analysis estimates a baseline value of €3.7 trillion (2015) which is projected to increase up to €5.7 trillion in 2025. Moreover, the study projects that the Silver Economy’s contribution to GDP will reach €6.4 trillion (32% of EU GDP) by that time. This way, the Silver Economy is expected to sustain over 88 million jobs across the overall EU economy, this being approximately 38% of the Union’s employment. As these numbers indicate, the European Silver Economy inherits a huge potential for growth, while simultaneously improving the lives of those Europeans aged 50 and older, who will reach a share of 43% of the EU’s total population by 2025. It further constitutes “a balancing factor” in relation to the socio-economic challenges posed by the change in the traditional population pyramid, but “one that will be profitable to businesses as well as connected to a positive and socially inclusive identity for older adults in Europe.”

However, the ten case studies implemented in the context of the study show that several market segments are either only just developing or do not work particularly efficiently. While all segments from the broad spectrum that make up the European Silver Economy have a large potential for growth, sectors such as active and health ageing, health and care, as well as Silver tourism dominate the emerging market ecosystem. On the contrary, other sectors such as the markets for domestic robots as well as for education services have yet to emerge from their niche status and respond to global trends of considering older citizens as target groups. The currently rather small markets for smart homes and autonomous vehicle technologies are expected to be two of the most rapidly developing markets by 2025.

The global competition surrounding the Silver Economy is fierce, the authors of the report state, and Europe needs now to recognise its ageing population as a major market opportunity in order to not fall behind. Having also mapped existing initiatives, the study sees the need for knowledge and information exchange as well as an increased collaboration between European member states, which need to be combined with concerted investment efforts. In this sense, the report provides the European Commission with a reference framework for the development of a Silver Economy strategy for Europe. The study formulates five high-level recommendations for a new multi-policy approach; all which seeks to stimulate and finally boost the emerging Silver Economy opportunities.

The full study can be read here