RIL 23

Research Innovation Lab on Ageing in a Digital Age 23

The Pitch

Artificial intelligence, smartphones, robotics and social media have created the digital age. What does that do with ageing today? How do we research later life and ageing in a digital age? Digital technologies usually aim to support older adults to live safely and independently in their familiar environment and maintain their physical and cognitive functioning, autonomy and quality of life. Indeed, growing demands of digitalisation have pushed a growing number of older adults to develop digital skills and to enjoy new ways of navigating their world. However, a ‚digital divide‘ persists between, but also within cohorts of older adults.The uptake of digital technologies is unequally distributed across Europe, and AI technologies are driving new inequalities. What is also missing in most discourses is a biographical perspective that acknowledges that current cohorts of older adults were involved in the development of technologies, used them in their professional life, and continue to use them. Against this backdrop, all topics of ageing and later life need to be seen through the prism of the digital age.

The Question

How can older adults participate equally in digitisation processes across Europe, and what inclusive research strategies are needed? 

The Research Innovation Lab will address this question and focus on: 

  • Dealing with different levels of digital citizenship across European countries 
  • (In)equalities in participatory approaches across research methods 
  • Access to digital infrastructures for older adults with care needs living at home and in institutions 
  • Technology development for increasingly heterogeneous populations of older adults 

The Research Innovation Lab

The Research Innovation Lab aims to bring together docs and postdocs at all stages of their work, who are involved in cutting edge questions relating to ageing in a digital age. The heart of the research innovation lab is a five day creative and interactive hackathon specific to developing non-technical solutions to social issues:

  • to address the challenges and potentials of digitalisation as outlined in the pitch, and to provide solutions and further developments in terms of conceptual frameworks, new and innovative research methods, and educational approaches;
  • to promote inter- and transdisciplinary working and thinking on interrelated problems of the participants through the intensive collaboration in diverse teams. 

Join the Quest

Become one of 30 participants from a range of disciplines within and beyond social sciences across Europe. Engage with four invited international speakers from the field of social, cultural and computational studies across the week.

You will:

  • gain skills in international networking and cooperation by developing collaborative outputs for conferences and publications;
  • receive mentoring through international experts as well as the team of applicants;
  • learn about interdisciplinary research; and
  • contribute to future research strategies.

What next?

Send your application (CV, short summary of your doc/postdoc research project, and a motivation letter including the questions and challenges you would like to address during the Summer School - max. 2 pages) by 28st February 2023 to:

If you have any further questions about RIL registration, participation and organization you can join our Zoom webinar on 21st February 2023, 5 to 6 pm (CET). To join sign up at: