Co-creation in Silver Markets: open innovation, hospitality and elderly care


Rüdiger Glott and Stijn Bannier

Co-operation with NWO-ZonMW, Hotel Management School Maastricht, Proteion Thuis

Further information

Introduction and position in the current literature
Innovativeness and the adaptation to or creation of new markets is a permanent challenge for enterprises/organisations. With the fundamental demographic change of European and other industrial societies towards higher shares of elderly in the population, the so-called ‘silver market’1) emerges, providing new opportunities and challenges for enterprises in many economic sectors.2)
The key of innovations for the silver market is to develop services and products that support “Active Ageing”, which implies better job opportunities and working conditions for the growing number of older people and allows elderly to keep an active role in society. Elderly are increasingly demanded to participate in the digital information society and social innovation ecosystems, organisations like care institutions have to adapt their hospitality towards the emerging “silver markets”.

Research questions & hypothesis
The key research questions we want to answer in the project are:
1) What problems encounter hospitality and care, important sectors for the region of Limburg, in the course of the trend towards silver markets?
2) What experiences are made by companies and clients (elderly) when new services and products are developed in an open innovation approach that invites elderly to become co-creators of these innovations?
3) What HR requirements are aligned with approaches towards co-creation?
This project is scientifically innovative since it will create an open innovation ecosystem of real-life settings in which user-driven innovation is fully integrated in the co-creative process of the new services, products and societal infrastructures of hospitality for the silver markets.

Research methods

  • Literature research
  • Participatory research sessions in the form of expert interviews and focus group conversations

Results & follow-ups 

  • Stijn Bannier, Jessica Krischer, Renée IJsebaert, Mieke Thielen, Ellen van den Munckhof, Rüdiger Glott, Valérie Meijs, “Innovative Ageing: the Hospitality of Co-creation in Gerontechnology and Care”, International Istanbul Initiative on Ageing Conference Proceedings, 2013.
  • Extended cooperation between Hotel Management School Maastricht and Proteion Thuis.
  • Extended cooperation between Collaborative Creativity Group and Hotel Management School Maastricht.

1) See, for instance, Hedrick-Wong, Y., 2006. The Glittering Silver Market. The Rise of the Elderly Consumers in Asia. New York: Wiley & Sons; Kohlbacher, F. &Herstatt, C. (Eds.), 2008. The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities in an Era of Demographic Change. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.
2) European Commission, DG Information Society and Media, 2010b. Overview of the European Strategy in ICT for Ageing Well. Available online at: