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Innovation in Aging Fund Selects Grant Recipients, June 1 Event to Highlight Winners

June 1 Event to Highlight Winners Features WGBH’s Kara Miller and Aging 2.0’s Stephen Johnston

Olin College of Engineering and North Hill, a senior living community in Needham, Mass., announce the three recipients for this year’s Fund for Innovation in Aging.

The funded projects include: design and development of an “Up/Down” chair submitted by Olin College Associate Professor of Bioengineering Alisha Sarang-Sieminski, a project involving Knetic wearable technology submitted by Olin student Wilson Tang, and a project for “virtual reality for senior living” submitted by Oliners Meg McCauley ’17 and Griffin Tschurwald ’17 and Olin student Aidan McLaughlin. 

This is the fourth year the advisory panel for the Fund for Innovation in Aging has reviewed proposals and granted funds.

“This year we received a number of truly interesting project ideas,” said Caitrin Lynch, professor of Anthropology and chair of the Fund’s Advisory Panel. “We look forward to seeing the development of these projects, each of which could be truly life changing for older adults.” 

The Fund for Innovation in Aging supports innovative projects that directly and indirectly contribute to the expanded potential of people 65 and older.  It was inspired by a North Hill resident who offered a monetary donation to fund an Olin project and an idea was born – the North Hill-Olin College Fund for Innovation in Aging.

This year’s grant recipients will formally receive the awards at the fourth annual North Hill-Olin College Fund for Innovation in Aging Lecture for Thursday, June 1, 2017 at 4pm in the North Hill auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. Please register by following the link here.

The event will feature Kara Miller of WGBH Innovation Hub interviewing Stephen Johnston, co-founder and CEO of Aging2.0, a global innovation platform working to improve the lives of older adults around the world. Johnston also serves on the board of Music and Memory, a New York nonprofit focused on improving the quality of life for older people. He is also co-author of Growth Champions, a book about sustainable corporate growth. He has an MA in Economics from Cambridge University and an MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Fulbright Scholar. Kara Miller has been the host of Innovation Hub, a radio show on WGBH, since 2011. She has a BA from Yale and a PhD from Tufts.

The discussion will focus on innovations to support healthy aging in the 21st Century. The talk will be followed by a Q and A session. In addition, there will be a presentation to recognize this year’s grant recipients, followed by a reception at North Hill.

The unique relationship between Olin College students and North Hill residents stretches back several years. Students in Olin’s Engineering for Humanity class have worked with North Hill residents to create devices that will improve their quality of life. For their part, North Hill residents have enthusiastically championed Olin robotics and Sailbot projects. Several years ago, a North Hill resident offered a monetary donation to fund an Olin project and an idea was born – the North Hill-Olin College Fund for Innovation in Aging.

“This event is the result of a truly unique collaboration between Olin College and North Hill, one that inspires and benefits our residents and provides a meaningful learning experience for Olin students,” said Paul Duffy, North Hill's vice president of marketing. “North Hill is an innovator in the healthy aging community and we hope this event will inspire more like it around the country.”