• Thematic Network SHAFE 2018

    SHAFE (Smart Health Age-Friendly Environments) aims to develop the main aspects of Age-Friendly Environments – Places and People – in the creation of eHealth and mHealth solutions, especially focused on quality and costs.
  • Projects

    Through our participation in research and innovation projects, AFEdemy proactively promotes and develops age-friendly environments and related initiatives.
  • Study tours

    With the aim to support and increase the capacity of regional, local and community stakeholders to design, implement and monitor Age-Friendly Environments (AFE) policies, practices, places and programmes, AFEdemy organises study tours to inspiring examples of age-friendly design and architecture in Europe.
  • Courses


    AFEdemy offers courses on the efficiency and efficacy of ICT and age-friendly technology and involvement of older people, the community and multi-sectorial teams
  • Impact assessment

    Impact assessment

    AFEdemy offers advice and guidance on undertaking impact analyses for economic, environmental and societal costs and benefits.
  • Support and coaching

    Support and coaching

    AFEdemy offers support and coaching regarding design and innovation management issues, change management issues, as well as business, financing, market and communication (to increase awareness) issues
  • International co-operaton and exchange programmes

    International co-operaton and exchange programmes

    AFEdemy offers new ways of collaboration/partnership for AfE programmes including, innovative financing and sustainability. For workers at local and community level.
  • Indicators, guidelines and standards

    Indicators, guidelines and standards

    AFEdemy offers the development of indicators, guidelines and standards to support the designing and decision-making process.

Age-Friendly Environments

Age-friendly environments, or more specific, smart healthy age-friendly environments, promote independent living, digitalization, social inclusion, and more health and wellbeing. AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments BV, focuses on the implementation of smart healthy age-friendly environments at local, regional or national level in European countries.

AFEdemy provides research, trainings, advice, public relations and networking activities to citizens, municipalities, companies and research. AFEdemy is involved in (European) projects and makes use of its own long term experiences with health, politics and IT-solutions to offer tailor made services on demand.

Find more background information on age-friendly environments:

Our core services

In order to address the wide range of aspects of smart healthy age-friendly environments, AFEdemy makes use of its own long-term experiences with health, politics, age-friendly environments and IT solutions in close cooperation with universities, research centres, advocacy organisations and businesses who act as guest-trainers to provide the following services:

While AFEdemy will package a set of foundational services, most of the services will be specifically tailored to address the needs of individual clients/participants.





Our Co-Founders

Willeke van Staalduinen

+31 6 510 53 949
Gouda, The Netherlands
Willeke van Staalduinen


Willeke van Staalduinen (MSc), Co-founder (female)

Since 2013 is Willeke actively working on research and implementation of age-friendly environments in Europe. In 2017 she took the initiative to co-found AFEdemy together with her Spanish business partner Javier Ganzarain.

At present Willeke is coordinator of the Stakeholders Network Smart Healthy Age-Friendly Environments (SHAFE), approved by the European Commission in 2018. Also, Willeke is part-time assigned as project manager by Cáritas Coimbra on the SmartWork project (SC1-DTH-03-2018, GA826343). She joined COST Action SHELD-ON: Indoor living space improvement: Smart Habitat for the Elderly.

Willeke started her career as nurse in mental healthcare. After she graduated as political scientist, she worked in Dutch parliament. As personal assistant of an MP of the First Chamber and as policy advisor health care policies of the social liberal democratic party D66. Then she continued her career as policy advisor at the Netherlands Board for Healthcare Institutions. This governmental board issued permits for the building of healthcare facilities like nursing homes, sheltered housing and residential care homes. Here she elaborated healthcare policies into executive building rules and measures on behalf of Dutch healthcare institutions. She also developed trainings and conferences to support healthcare institutions with the implementation of building rules and measures.

Then she worked as researcher at the Netherlands’ organisation for applied scientific research TNO. Here she worked on the topics smart cities, housing and care, policy platforms and urban strategy. In 2016 she left TNO and founded her own company, Age-friendly Nederland. She was assigned by Funka (Sweden) as promoter of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA). And worked in assignment of the municipality of The Hague to deliver support and international relations to the Age-friendly Cities Conference of The Hague (2-4 October 2017) and to the Joint Action of the cities of The Hague, Bangalore, Suzhou, Frankfurt, Manchester and New York. Also for the municipality of The Hague in 2017, she led a performance audit on the efficiency and effectivity of public services of the municipality and supported to define age-friendly policy for the next period of the executive municipal board.

For the EIP on AHA she is involved as promoter and coordinator for Action Group D4 Age-friendly Buildings, Cities and Environments. She is founding member of the Covenant on Demographic Change (2015). She was member of the Scientific Board of the Age Friendly Environments in Europe project of WHO for Europe (2016).

+31 6 510 53 949
Gouda, The Netherlands

Javier Ganzarain

​+34 653 712 513
Barcelona, Spain
Javier Ganzarain


Javier Ganzarain (MSc), Co-Founder (male)

Holds a Computer Science Degree, Basque Country University (Spain), and a Master of Science (MSc) in Design and Management of Communication Systems, Centre d’Ingénierie des Technologies de la Communication (France and Spain).

He has gained extensive international experience within various project management and IT areas while working in Germany, first in the European Space Agency as a telecommunications engineer, then in a multinational consulting company (Atos Origin) as Senior IT-Specialist and in a German research company as a senior software engineer and project leader.

He was over 13 years the lead of R&D Department within tioman & partners, SL, which he co-founded and was dedicated to promoting and facilitating innovation for better ageing.

His research areas of interest include Human Centred Innovation, Design and Creativity.

Currently he is working on research and implementation of Age-Friendly Environments in Europe within AFEdemy, a Dutch SME he co-founded in 2017 together with his Dutch partner Willeke van Staalduinen and is also Research Project Officer at AGE Platform Europe (Brussels, Belgium) where he performs and coordinates AGE activities in European research projects and proposals related to Silver Economy, Age-friendly Environments and New Technologies in support of Active and Healthy Ageing.

He is involved as Promoter and Coordinator of the Action Group C2 “Interoperable independent living solutions” of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIP on AHA) and is Mentor for the Municipality of Coslada (Spain) within the framework of the Mentor-AFE program of the WHO.

He is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish.

​+34 653 712 513
Barcelona, Spain