Value of EU Grant - €7.3 million

Name of funding programme - Interreg 2 Seas Programme

Start and end dates - September 2019 to March 2023

The EMPOWERCARE project was a 2 year technological and social innovation research project. The project aimed to create resilient communities and reduce individual frailty and loneliness.

To do this, partners across the INTERREG 2Seas Area developed an approach using research-based solutions and technology to address gaps in the care of the target groups: those aged 65+, and those aged 50+ with at least one chronic condition.

The project addressed the issues facing the care of our ageing population. It combined the work of several existing and tested partner solutions from across the 2 Seas Area and ensured that older people are at the forefront of improved technology and better cared for within their communities.

The project was a cross-border partnership involving 13 organisations from across the UK, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. The project was approved and funded by the Interreg 2 Seas Programme (co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund) and had a budget of more than €7 million.

Project outputs

The key outputs from EMPOWERCARE are:

  • An Empowerment Strategy, with a Workforce Transformation Package
  • A Technology Blueprint
  • An Evaluation Report

Please scroll to the tabs at the bottom of this page to access the documentation, as well as a list of project partners.

The Workforce Transformation Package is also available to access via the Virtual Skills Lab.

Kent County Council's involvement

To implement this project in Kent we:

  • worked in partnership with organisations to improve the digital skills support available for the older population, to help improve social isolation through technology
  • showcased relevant technologies through digital hubs
  • ran a 12- month pilot Digital Ambassador programme, training volunteers from the local community, including professionals and peer mentors, to sustain the growth of digital skills. Our Digital Ambassadors offered support with digital skills via group sessions, one to one or remotely. Between June 2021 and June 2022 EMPOWERCARE trained 22 volunteers who supported over 80 people in Kent with Digital Skills. The scheme has now been handed over to Digital Kent to continue the fantastic work
  • employed 2 Technology for Independent Living Facilitators to support the Adult Social Care workforce with digital solutions to care. Email ASCTechFacilitators@kent.gov.uk with any enquiries.


The ESTHER Model strives to improve patients experience and the quality of care received by people (ESTHER) through discussing the needs of ESTHER openly and treating ESTHER, their family and networks as equal partners in their care. More information can be found on the Innovation Delivery Team website.

Interreg 2 Seas Mers Zeeen EMPOWERCARE European Regional Development Fund

An Empowerment Strategy (PDF, 2.6 MB) is available to explain how we aim to deliver what matters to individuals and communities in managing their own care, and a Workforce Transformation Package.

The Empowerment strategy has also been translated so that there is also a French document (PDF, 2.8 MB) and Dutch document (PDF, 2.7 MB) available.

A Technology Blueprint (PDF, 3.9 MB) on initiatives and technologies that support enablement at individual and community level. This is informed by partners testing different technologies in co-production with people.

The Technology Blueprint has also been translated so that there is also a French document (PDF, 4.2 MB) and Dutch document (PDF, 4.3 MB) available.

Findings analysed in a comprehensive evaluation of the EMPOWERCARE Project by Canterbury Christ Church University to outline the benefits and key outcomes the project was shared during the event.

These include positive outcomes for people involved, including reducing loneliness, increase in self-efficacy and digital literacy. For the workforce, this included a positive impact on person-centred practice, and increased in technology uptake.

If you would like to find out more, read the EMPOWERCARE evaluation final report (PDF, 3.9 MB). You can also read the French version (PDF, 3.6 MB) and a Dutch version (PDF, 3.5 MB) of this report.

  • Care Group H Hart (BE)
  • Kent County Council (UK)
  • Solidarity University (NL)
  • Nord Departmental Council (FR)
  • Province of Antwerp (BE)
  • University of Brighton (UK)
  • Canterbury Christ Church University (UK)
  • Not for profit Wieltjesgracht (BE)
  • Family Help NPO (BE)
  • Boone NV (BE)
  • SWVO (NL)
  • VITO (Flemish Institute for Technological Research) (BE).

Observer partners

  • University of Exeter
  • ViaZorg Foundation
  • Centre of expertise on Dementia Flanders
  • Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS)
  • HZ University of Applied Sciences
  • Kent Surry and Sussex Academic Health Science Network (KSSAHSN)
  • Help for older and disabled people

  • Develop a holistic approach focussing on 3 areas of activity:
    • empowerment
    • technology strategies
    • workforce development resources.
  • Promote a person-centred approach to care and technology knowledge transfer between people whilst reducing isolation and loneliness and increasing solidarity amongst older people.
  • Capture what matters most to local communities by harnessing skills and expertise of local people, co-creating innovations that make a real difference to lives, health and wellbeing.
  • Empower people to take responsibility for their own care using technology and local services to keep them in work, healthy and motivated, having control over decisions that affect their health and wellbeing.
  • Learning networks will enhance shared learning amongst professionals and families to ensure durability and transferability.