Innovation and Aging - Toward a Bi-Directional Perspective
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Aging is among the most striking societal changes that highly industrialized economies face. While a number of related challenges, such as the increasing pressure on social security systems, are being widely addressed by policy makers, the consequences of demographic changes for innovation systems and processes have surprisingly not been a major research topic. The implications and challenges of demographic changes for innovation remain a puzzle for public policy-makers, managers and civil society alike: While aging calls for innovative solutions to help solving some of the societal problems associated with demographic changes, it still remains unclear, whether aging societies may prove to stay as innovative as today. To be able to provide innovative solutions, companies have to understand changing demand and consumption patterns in aging societies in order to remain competitive. And policy makers have to foster conditions under which innovators can meet the demands of an aging society. This is crucial for both, companies in order to remain competitive, and societies in order to improve the facilitation of individual aging.