The general objective of this research programme was to produce information that can help contain the problems and challenges presented by the ageing of the population. It produced information for practical application in various sectors from housing and employment to health policy planning and treatment methods. At the same time the programme strengthened the involvement of the academic research community in the public debate on ageing.
Issues related to well-being, quality of life and independent coping in the ageing population were also central concerns in the programme Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources under the Fifth EU Framework Programme. At the national level the research programme on ageing tied in closely with the Age Programme jointly run by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Labour as well as with the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development programme 'Towards a Barrier-Free World'.
The purpose was to explore the ageing process, its nature and underlying factors as a biological, psychological, social, cultural and societal phenomenon. The concern was with the social and cultural dimensions of ageing, with functional capacity and maintaining it with increasing age, and with the biological foundations of ageing.
Chances of influencing the quality of life of the ageing population were studied at the level of individuals, communities and society as a whole. Research themes in this programme included ageing and employment, the living environment of the ageing population, ageing and technology, old-age policy and services, and ageing and the economy.
The programme comprised of 21 projects from 12 different universities and research institutes. Over 100 researchers were involved from the following organisations: the universities of Helsinki, Jyväskylä, Kuopio, Lapland, Tampere and Turku, Helsinki University of Technology, the University of Art and Design Helsinki, the National Research and Development Centre for Welfare and Health Stakes, the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, the National Public Health Institute, and the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy ETLA.
The programme had a budget of EUR 3.4 million. Funding from the Academy of Finland amounted to about EUR 2.4 million. The Finnish Work Environment Fund, the Social Insurance Institution, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Environment and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities together account for around EUR 1 million.
The research programme was coordinated by coordinator Marja Jylhä, Terveystieteen laitos, University of Tampere.