Université Côte d'Azur and Nice University Hospital, winners of the Agence Nationale de la Recherche's "Autonomy: ageing and disability" call for projects

  • Institutional
  • Innovation
Published on October 3, 2023 Updated on October 7, 2023

on the September 7, 2023


Université Côte d'Azur and the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Nice (CHU Nice) are proud to announce their success in the "Autonomie: vieillissement et situations de handicap" call for projects, launched by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche as part of the Plan France 2030. The Pré.S.Age (Prévention du Sujet Agé) project has been selected for exceptional funding of €3.5 million, confirming its innovative ambition and immediate societal impact.

As part of the "Bien Vieillir Ensemble" (BVE) programme, at the interface between Health, Research and Innovation, Pré.S.Age is an innovative initiative aimed at transforming the Côte d'Azur region into an experimental laboratory dedicated to prevention and health for seniors.
Spearheaded by Professor Raphaël Zory, Professor Olivier Guerin and Dr Frédéric Prate, this ambitious project aims to generate new knowledge about the accessibility, commitment and effectiveness of programmes to prevent loss of autonomy.

Pré.S.Age brings together a consortium of public and private partners. Involving research teams from ten laboratories at the Université Côte d'Azur, the CHU de Nice, and the universities of Nîmes and Grenoble Alpes, the project covers a rich scientific spectrum (Public Health, Sociology, Clinical, Social and Cognitive Psychology, Physiology, Biology, Geography). The collaboration also includes the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area, the city of Nice, the Alpes-Maritimes departmental council, committed associations such as Azur Sport Santé and WeTechCare, and innovative companies such as Malakoff Humanis, Activiti and. Tech2Heal.
This innovative project adopts a participatory science approach, offering elderly people personalised prevention pathways, while enabling them to test innovative solutions in the field with researchers and companies. The 5,000 participants will be monitored for a year by means of a complete characterisation followed by a 12-week personalised programme, accessible digitally, by videoconference or face-to-face. A digital platform (Alakin from Tech2heal) will be at the heart of this experiment, encouraging communication, data collection and the creation of a community of users. 

This ambitious project places accessibility, individualisation and commitment at the heart of its approach. It places particular emphasis on the conditions for geographical, digital and social accessibility to programmes designed to prevent loss of autonomy. By encouraging self-determination and empowerment among seniors, Pré.S.Age aims to make participants active players in their own health, with lasting effects. In addition, by adopting an individualised approach based on in-depth assessments, the project targets participants' needs more effectively, thereby optimising the content of the programmes. Finally, for economic and organisational reasons, reasonable and realistic use of digital tools is at the heart of this large-scale approach to personalised prevention.

Pré.S.Age will also be looking at the impact of environmental exposure on the loss of independence in the elderly. This pioneering study will analyse the exposome, defined as all the exposures sustained over a lifetime, to gain a better understanding of how the environment affects the health of senior citizens. The study of molecular signatures could reveal biomarkers for predicting the risk of loss of autonomy and developing more specific preventive measures.
Université Côte d'Azur is delighted to have won this innovative project. This success testifies to the University's expertise in the field of 'Ageing well', a priority theme for our region, supported by our University's Initiative for Excellence (Idex), and which the University is actively piloting within its University School of Research on Health Ecosystems (Healthy) and at international level as part of the dynamic promoted by the European Ulysseus Alliance.  Jeanick Brisswalter, President of Université Côte d'Azur

As Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Nice University Hospital, I am once again proud of our university hospital teams, who have won this ambitious project at the interface of health, innovation and research. This is recognition of the joint work of our teams and the policies we have implemented to make the Nice Côte d'Azur metropolitan area a unique area for experimentation and innovation in the prevention of loss of autonomy. 
The aim of this project is to meet the human, social, demographic and health challenges and, within 5 years, to include 30,000 elderly people in order to offer them personalised prevention pathways, while at the same time enabling companies and researchers to come and test innovative solutions in the field of old age.
Christian Estrosi, Mayor of Nice, President of the Nice Côte d'Azur Metropolitan Area