World Ageing Festival 2024 Unites Global Innovators and Communities to Mark its 15-year Milestone

Singapore, 8 May 2024 - Over 5,000 participants from 50 countries gathered today for the grand opening of the 15th edition of the World Ageing Festival 2024 at the Marina Bay Sands Expo & Convention Centre, Hall C. As Asia’s leading platform for the ageing industry, this two-day festival features key events such as the 15th Ageing Asia Innovation Forum & Exhibition, SUSS Geronpreneurship Innovation Festival, Active Ageing Seminar, and the 12th Asia Pacific Eldercare Innovation Awards.

Gracing the occasion as the Guest-of-Honour was Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Singapore’s Minister for Social and Family Development, Second Minister for Health & Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs.

Marking its 15-year milestone, the festival continues to be a vibrant showcase of innovation, offering valuable insights, networking opportunities, and cutting-edge advancements. Serving as a pivotal hub in eldercare, it brings together professionals, policymakers, community leaders, startups, and tech firms to drive collaboration and progress.

At the heart of the festival, the Ageing Asia Innovation Exhibition unveiled over 100 curated products spanning various categories, such as Assistive Living, Home & Community Care, Active Ageing, Technology, Rehabilitation and Wellness, designed to meet the evolving needs of our ageing population. Notably, the event celebrated the debut of innovations from 13 local companies at the Singapore pavilion organised by the Association of Small and Medium Enterprises (ASME), underscoring the burgeoning creativity within the nation’s entrepreneurial ecosystem while facilitating opportunities for networking and collaboration.

A standout feature of the SUSS Geronpreneurship Innovation Festival (GIF) organised by the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) was the Ageing Startup Pitch Stadium. This platform provides a stage for budding entrepreneurs and seasoned start-ups to present their innovative solutions tailored to our region’s ageing demography. The pitch winner will be unveiled this evening and will take home a $4,000 cash prize, with the first and second runners-up receiving $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.

Complementing this entrepreneurial showcase is a dedicated career fair addressing the employment needs of individuals seeking meaningful opportunities within the long-term care sector.

The GIF is a key initiative under the Ngee Ann Kongsi (NAK) Social Impact Hub, established through SUSS with a generous S$10 million donation to the university.

Professor Tan Tai Yong, President of the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS), remarked: “I’m delighted that the GIF continues to drive major advancements in gerontechnology, which is pivotal for ensuring that our ageing population can live fulfilling lives. By harnessing technology tailored to the needs of older adults, we’re not just shaping a more age-friendly future, but also addressing critical challenges related to healthcare, social inclusion, and quality of life. As a leader in gerontology education and research, SUSS is committed to fostering collaborations and leading initiatives that contribute to a more inclusive and resilient society, empowering generations to thrive in an ever-evolving world.”

The opening day was highlighted by captivating moments, including an attempt to secure a place in the Singapore Book of Records. Over 300 seniors and children joined forces for an Intergenerational Drumming Performance, epitomising the spirit of community and advocacy for active ageing. Many participants devoted the past two months to refining their rhythmic skills, with the eldest participant nearing their nineties.

With a line-up boasting 100 distinguished speakers and a diverse array of exhibitors, the festival serves as a melting pot of transformative ideas and solutions in the field of eldercare.

Key guests and speakers included:

  • Madam Halimah Yacob, Chancellor, Singapore University of Social Sciences
  • His Excellency Juha Markkanen, Ambassador of Finland to Singapore
  • YB Dato Hajjah Hanifah Hajar Taib, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economy, Malaysia
  • Dr The Honourable Lam Ching-choi, SBS, JP, Member of the Executive Council, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, The People’s Republic of China, Chairman, Elderly Commission, Hong Kong SAR, CEO, Haven of Hope Christian Service, Hong Kong SAR China
  • Mr Yoshiaki Takahashi, Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Embassy of Japan
  • Dr Tung Chen-Yuan, Representative, Taipei Representative Office in Singapore, Taiwan
  • Dr Lily Kresnowati, Director of Health Service Assurance, Badan Penyelenggara Jaminan Sosial Kesehatan (BPJS)
  • Professor Tan Tai Yong, President, Singapore University of Social Sciences
  • Mr Andrew Cheah, Executive Director, Enterprise Experience, Enterprise Singapore

Ms Janice Chia, Founder & Managing Director of Ageing Asia Pte Ltd, said, “As we gather to address the pressing needs of our ageing population, we recognise the pivotal role of collaboration and innovation. World Ageing Festival is the platform to forge industry connections and empower future generations to shape the eldercare landscape. With Singapore facing the challenges of a growing silver population, now is the time to harness the potential of ageing as an opportunity for social and economic advancement. Together, we can pioneer transformative solutions that benefit individuals, communities, and businesses alike.”

Back to top
Back to top