Scientific Consortium - Knowledge Innovation Center for Elderly Care (KIO)

The scientific final conclusions will be expected in autumn 2017.
For more information, please contact Flanders' Care,

Who are we?

KIO is an inter-university and university college consortium with multidisciplinary and methodological expertise in the field of elderly care. The OPIH research group from the University of Brussels (VUB) will coordinate the consortium.

The following key partners work with us: inter-university UG (University of Ghent) - VUB research group iCHER (M. Jegers), Faculty of Gerontology at VUB (E. Gorus), the Center for Sociological Research, KUL (Catholic University Leuven) (G. Van Hootegem), VUB–ETRO Department of Electronics and Informatics and Engineering (B. Jansen), Industrial Product Design Howest (B. Grimonprez) and a multidisciplinary research group from Artevelde University College (P. De Vriendt).


What do we do?

The Knowledge Innovation Center for Elderly Care (KIO) is responsible for monitoring the platforms and projects of Care Living Labs Flanders based on scientific knowledge and insights.

KIO aims to:

  • substantially support the different care and assistance processes by providing scientific knowledge aligned to the needs of the platforms. Support occurs by making information available to the living lab platforms (passive knowledge sharing) and through contact and consultation (interactive knowledge sharing). This knowledge should help to overcome the barriers to implementing the innovations and show that the platforms and projects in question contribute to the social objectives for the complex group of elderly people (need-guided, empowered, effective, efficient, just, sustainable).
  • develop measuring instruments with key indicators with regard to the platforms and projects. These qualitative and quantitative indicators can help to estimate the social and economic impact of the projects. The set of indicators works as a signaling instrument (a 'thermometer') in order to optimize innovations in elderly care.
  • gather, make available and disseminate the scientific knowledge gathered to actors in the practice of elderly care, policy makers and the (international) scientific community.
  • formulate policy recommendations based on the results of the platforms/projects with a view to a programmatic approach to innovations in the policy on the elderly.

In order to support the living labs concretely, we work with a scientifically interactive knowledge transfer model ('evidence based knowledge brokering').

  • Available (foreign) knowledge ('evidence') is gathered or generated from the experiences of the platforms and is (again) made available for developing the projects.
  • Through the exchange of knowledge, we also promote the use of 'roadmapping' to prepare implementation on a larger scale.
  • Scientific support rests on participatory and need-guided design methods.

We use a socio-scientific research evaluation method ('realist evaluation') of complex interventions, taking account of the existing social and scientific debate about the elderly.

  • KIO considers the complex composition of the group of elderly people in which various sub-groups have specific needs.
  • KIO uses a life cycle perspective: the needs and requirements of older people are not static and are determined by the coherence of different areas of life.
  • KIO examines the influence of innovation on the intra- and inter-organizational consequences of innovation (including the impact on the labor of personnel).
  • Where it concerns technological innovations, we examine the technology standards and the design rules of the equipment or technological services that are used.
  • Each living lab (including the projects implemented) is investigated as an independent case study ('within case analysis'). The transversal analysis of the living labs ('between case analysis') will form the foundation for identifying patterns in the experiences of the living labs with a view to formulating policy recommendations. These experiences will be tested against the international literature.