The course took place 22 and 23 June, as one of the Summer Courses annually held in San Sebastian, and it was focused on the opportunity provided by healthy ageing, presenting progress made in basic and clinical research, as well as the impact of R+D+i on ageing. Moreover, it was an opportunity for main players involved in this area of research to meet.

The Biodonostia Healthcare Research Institute and the CIBER (Centro Investigación Biomédica en Red (Network Biomedical Research Centre) organised the course, “Toward healthy ageing through innovation and research,” with the participation of speakers from relevant entities of great prestige, with remarkable participation.

The 22nd began with a speech given by Dr Julio Arrizabalaga (Scientific Director of the Biodonostia Healthcare Research Institute) and Dr Leocadio Rodríguez Mañas (Director of the CIBER in Frailty and Healthy Ageing), who introduced research strategies and priorities at the centres they manage, to then pass the microphone to Dr Belén Bornstein Sánchez (General Sub-Director of Evaluation and Fomenting Research at the ISCIII), who spoke of Cooperative Research Structures within the National Health System.

Following, a round table took place, where the importance of frailty in healthcare and the different ways to identify and address frailty were discussed. Participants included Dr Itziar Vergara Mitxeltorena (IIS Biodonostia), Dr Mikel López Sáez de Asteasu (Public University of Navarre, Health Sciences), Dr Marta Checa López (Biomedical Research Foundation University Hospital of Getafe) and Dr Álvaro Casas Herrero (Hospital Complex of Navarre) and Dr Adolfo Díez Pérez (Research Institute at the Del Mar Hospital of Barcelona). The day drew to a close after the second round table, addressing pre-clinical models to study frailty and healthy ageing, with the participation of Dr Ander Matheu Fernández (IIS Biodonostia), Dr Maria Carmen Gómez-Cabrera (University of Valencia), Dr Juan Pedro Bolaños Hernández (University of Salamanca), and Dr José Antonio Enríquez Domínguez (Centro Nacional Investigaciones Cardiovasculares (National Centre for Cardiovascular Research)).

Participating in the session the 23rd was Dr Somnath Chatterji (World Health Organization), who provided impressive data from research on ageing, and stated, in addition to many other issues, that “current healthcare systems are designed to treat problems from the past; there is no multi-disciplinary analysis.” A speech was also given by Dr Francisco del Pozo Guerrero (Director of the Biomedical Technology Centre of the Polytechnic University of Madrid), referencing technologies applicable to ageing and their value in transforming Healthcare Systems.

The third round table took place next, addressing issues such as the economic dimension of active ageing and the social development and economic opportunities this may entail. Participants included Dr Ángeles Durán Heras (High Scientific Research Centre), Dr Inés García Sánchez (Deputy Coordinator ADVANTAGE Joint Action of the European Commission), Mr José Ramón Urrutia Elorza (former vice-minister of the Basque Government, former professor of the UPV/EHU Economics and Business Faculty and Director of Biharko) and Dr Miren Dorronsoro Iraeta (Director of Public Healthcare of the Basque Government).

Participates agreed that ageing is the greatest global healthcare challenge in the 21st century, and that within the context of ageing, frailty is growing quite relevant, both in research and in care, in addition to other aspects, because frailty predicts disability and it can be reversed, so action can be taken.

Collaborating in this course was the Basque Government Health Department, Osakidetza- OSI Donostialdea and Biozientziak Gipuzkoa Foundation.