Gloria M. Gutman

Espen H. Aspnes

Vice President (ISG2020), International Society for Gerontechnology

 


Espen Aspnes is a senior adviser at SINTEF (Scandinavia's largest independent research organization), Dpt. Health, where he has worked since 1994. In 1994 he joined a small group at SINTEF which started a pilot project in Central Norway on innovation and business development in health care. From day one a focus was on the challenges and possibilities caused by the global demographic change with an increasing elderly population. In 1998 this project was transformed into a national network of competence in need-driven innovation called InnoMed, and in 2006 the ownership of the network was transferred to The Norwegian Directorate of Health, but SINTEF kept the leadership of InnoMed, and since 2006 he has worked as an innovation adviser for InnoMed with a special responsibility for the focus areas "Future Housing for Elderly" and "Welfare Technology".

Before SINTEF Mr. Aspnes worked 10 years in a construction company in different leader roles. Then he worked 10 years in a project management company as a project manager for a series of major building projects, mainly in health care. Examples are: (1) The University Hospital of Trondheim: Technical Central, Operating Dep., Rheumatism Dep. (first “Planetree” dep. in Europe), Hospice Dep. (first hospice dep. in Norway), (2) Municipality of Trondheim: Persaunet Nursing Home. This aroused a special interest for innovation activities related to "the ageing society". In 1995 he became a member of IAHSA (http://globalageing.org/) and from 2000 to 2006 he served at the board of IAHSA, the last year as chair. In 2005 he had the responsibility for IAHSA's 6th International Conference in Trondheim with almost 600 participants. The conference title was "Creative Solutions for an Ageing Society – Sharing the Wisdom". In Norway, in addition to ordinary project activities, he has had the responsibility for 11 national conferences, mostly about aspects of welfare technology. He has also been engaged in teaching about welfare technology and innovation at university level. Since 2010 he has been a board member of ISG.

From 2009 to 2011 Mr. Aspnes was appointed by the Norwegian Ministry of Health and Care as a member of the secretariat of "The Hagen Committee". The committee published in 2011 a report called "Innovation in Care", and this report has been very important for developing and implementing welfare technology (mainly gerontechnology) in Norway. In 2006 he was appointed by the Ministry of Health and Care to represent Norway in an OECD meeting in Paris about an international report on innovation in health care. In 2002 he participated in an advisory group for the Norwegian Minister of Social Services at the UN Second World Assembly on Ageing in Madrid. Mr. Aspnes has written numbers of reports and articles, and he has also presented at many conferences, both nationally and internationally, and his work has given him a broad international network. Now the challenge is ISG's 12th World Conference in Trondheim in 2020.