International Interdisciplinary Network on Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments (NET4Age-Friendly)

Net4AgeFriendly Logo

Client / Funding programme:

COST (European Cooperation in Science and Technology) Action CA19136

Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the European Commission can be held responsible for them.

Start and end dates:
2020 – 2024


AFEdemy role in the project:

Willeke van Staalduinen is the Vice-Chair and AFEdemy the grant holder of this COST Action.

☐ Research
☐ Training
☐ Curriculum development
☐ e-Learning Platform
Policy recommendation


To promote social inclusion, independent living and active and healthy ageing in society, the NET4Age-Friendly COST Action will establish an international and interdisciplinary network of researchers and stakeholders from all sectors.


  • Its aim is to foster awareness, and to support the creation and implementation of smart, healthy indoor and outdoor environments for present and future generations.
  • NET4Age-Friendly further aims to overcome fragmentation and critical gaps at both conceptual and pragmatic innovation level on responsive, age-friendly and sustainable environments to address European research and policy challenges.
  • The main approach of NET4Age-Friendly is the establishment of local or regional ecosystems in each COST country involved, to work on health and well-being in an age-friendly digital world. The ecosystems will consist of citizens, public authorities, businesses/NGOs and researchers. They will be supported by four thematic Working Groups:
    • User-centred inclusive design in age-friendly environments and communities.
    • Integrated health and well-being pathways.
    • Digital solutions and large-scale sustainable implementation.
    • Policy development, funding forecast and cost-benefit evaluations.

AFE Related Topics

Outdoor spaces and buildings
Social participation
Transport and mobility
Social inclusion and non-discrimination
Civic engagement and employment
Communication and information
Community and health services


Quadruple helix of citizens, researchers, business and public authorities.


Willeke van Staalduinen from AFEdemy and Carina Dantas from Cáritas Coimbra initiated this proposal for the COST Action that was approved in March 2020. The Action will run from 2020 till 2024.

Other partners are researchers from 38 COST countries already joined the Action and researchers from COST international partner countries, such as Japan, USA, Georgia, Ukraine and Belarus already showed interest to join too.

Work plan

  • NET4Age-Friendly will be used as a connector for involving and hosting regular themed sessions with local and regional stakeholders and users’ representatives from various countries and backgrounds, as well as for fostering the knowledge creation and sharing among researchers. Particular attention will be devoted to promoting the involvement of Early Career Investigators, entrepreneurs and participants from COST Inclusiveness Target Countries.
  • The kick-off took take place on October 21 and 22, 2020.
  • The Action will run from 2020-2024 and will deliver multiple results.
  • The Action will consist of 3 content-related Working Groups: Inclusive Design, Integrated Healthcare and Digital Innovations. Each Working Group will deliver a report on the State of the Art and input to the Reference Framework. The Working Group SHAFE Impact & Sustainability will also deliver a SHAFE impact state of the art report and will further focus on the exploitation and future of SHAFE. The final Working Group is the SHAFE Reference Framework that will deliver overviews of good practices, guidelines and standards on SHAFE. For more information see the Memorandum of Understanding of the NET4Age-Friendly COST Action.


  • The outcomes of the thematic Working Groups will be integrated by a dedicated Working Group to create a synergised output as a Reference Framework.
  • Reports on State of the Art on SHAFE, Reference Framework on SHAFE good practices, guidelines and standards.

© 2017 - 2022

AFEdemy, Academy on Age-Friendly Environments in Europe B. V.

Design by Lotus Estudi