Our society is ageing #AgeingPopulation

Today, there are more than 12 million over-65s in the UK and this figure is expected to increase by 50% over the next 20 years. 

Increasing life expectancy is to be celebrated, but it poses major challenges for individuals, families and the public and private sectors.  Legal & General’s partnership with the University of Edinburgh aims to address these growing societal issues.

Legal & General announces its long term partnership with the University of Edinburgh to establish the Advanced Care Research Centre (“ACRC”), the first of its kind in the UK.  ACRC will offer a seven-year multi-disciplinary research programme designed to improve understanding of care in later life and to revolutionise how it is delivered. 

ACRC’s vision is that its research can enable data-driven, personalised and affordable care that delivers independence, dignity and a high quality of life for people living in their own homes or in supported care environments.  The University of Edinburgh’s grant-funded, academic-led ACRC programme will operate in the public interest, forming a major new strand in Legal & General’s drive towards Inclusive Capitalism. 

The ACRC will work in partnership with other top tier universities to engage multiple public and private stakeholders, as well as individuals in later life, their families and communities.  The ACRC will also include an Academy that will develop a new generation of enterprise-oriented leaders in later life care through a rigorous programme of cross-disciplinary research-based training. The partnership with Legal & General marks the University’s largest industry investment, as part of the £661m Data-Driven Innovation initiative within the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal. 

Life expectancy has increased, but living longer doesn’t currently mean living well. Recognising the issues impacting healthy ageing, Government has a stated aim to ensure that people enjoy on average five additional years of Healthy Life Expectancy by 2035.  In line with these objectives, the ACRC will bring an academic and research led focus to the understanding and delivery of appropriate care in later life.

ACRC will deliver a programme of seven thematic activities that combine research across multiple disciplines including: medicine and other care professions, life sciences, engineering, informatics, data and social sciences.  This new research centre, which will receive £20m funding from Legal & General, will put the University of Edinburgh and its partners at the forefront of research, development and collaboration to improve the academic understanding of later life.  All research findings made during this partnership will be publicly available. 

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As the UK’s largest pension fund investor with £1.2 trillion of assets under management, and a leading provider of longevity risk solutions and retirement products to millions of customers, Legal & General has deep insight into ageing populations.  Changing demographics around ageing will have a crucial impact on Legal & General’s customers, making this one of the company’s long-term strategic growth drivers.

Legal & General works closely alongside and in support of UK academics, including through the Longevity Science Panel. In the last two years alone, it has formed the UK’s largest science and technology property partnership, Bruntwood SciTech, and announced a £4bn partnership with Oxford University to develop science and innovation districts within the region, together with homes for staff and students. Legal & General’s long term partnership with Newcastle Council and Newcastle University continues to deliver at pace. Its Newcastle Helix scheme, which houses the UK’s National Centre for Ageing, brings together innovators in improving quality of life as people age, alongside a major new hub for scientific research and technology.

Dr Nigel Wilson, Group CEO of Legal & General, commented: 

“Establishing the ACRC will revolutionise the UK’s commitment to understanding and addressing the huge issue of demographic change – part of a global challenge with significant social and economic impacts. Edinburgh’s academic-led, data-based and cross-disciplinary approach will deliver vital positive change to ageing and care and we find this a compelling and practical vision. The partnerships we are forging with premier institutions up and down the country, from the University of Oxford and Newcastle, to Bath University, UCL and now Edinburgh will help shift the dial in the delivery of science, technology and ageing care for many future generations to come.”

Professor Peter Mathieson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said:

 “We are delighted to host this ground-breaking collaboration with colleagues at Legal & General. This exceptional partnership will re-imagine care for the mid-21st century. As our population ages, so we need to develop innovative new approaches to provide individually-tailored care. This is the big challenge that the partners will address, bringing to bear pioneering research from the brightest academic minds across multiple disciplines to deliver creative and trusted solutions to address real world problems.”

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