ARIIA launches to help transform aged care practice

Aged care Research and Industry Innovation Australia has launched in Adelaide.

The commonwealth-funded centre at Flinders University tasked with translating aged care research into practice has relaunched as Aged care Research and Industry Innovation Australia.

ARIIA is dedicated to providing resources and assistance to the aged care workforce to help it deliver best practice care and support to current and future generations of older Australians.

The three-year $34 million initiative to establish a centre for growth and translational research was a recommendation of the 2018 aged care workforce taskforce report A Matter of Care. Flinders University and national consultancy firm Wells Advisory won the tender to develop an operational model in 2020 and launched the Aged Care Centre for Growth and Translational Research in December 2021.

Professor Sue Gordon

ARIIA is all about collaboration, said research director Professor Sue Gordon. “We want to connect and partner with aged care researchers, aged care providers, aged care workers and people who provide products to the aged care sector. By working together and sharing our work, we can make a real difference to the lives and care of older Australians,” Professor Gordon told Australian Ageing Agenda

She said the centre has been given three years to make a difference, but has already started distributing grants in priority areas.

“We felt it important to distinguish between the planning and tender process undertaken by the [centre for growth and translational research], and the real-world actions of our unique research mission, and that is why ARIIA was born,” Professor Gordon said.

“By bringing together world-leading researchers, industry experts and older people themselves, ARIIA provides a unique opportunity to address the needs of older Australians through the co-design, development, and testing of – essentially – anything that research identifies as making life easier for older generations.

“And perhaps even more importantly, ARIIA will translate research outcomes into real world solutions with an efficiency and immediacy previously unheard of, empowering and enabling the aged care workforce to incrementally and continually improve their practices, and the care they deliver daily,” she said.

ARIIA launch celebrations with (from left) Reuben Jacob, Professor Alison Kitson, Professor Gill Harvey, Professor Robert Saint, Professor Sue Gordon, Judith Leeson, Professor Jennifer Tieman and Richard Porter

It’s intended that by the time the three years funding concludes in June 2024, ARIIA will be positioned to become a self-sufficient, industry-led independent body.

ARIIA’s initiatives

As previously reported, the centre’s key initiatives include:

  • a knowledge and implementation hub open to all and led by Professor Jennifer Tieman
  • the Innovator Training Program for the aged care workforce led by Professor Gordon
  • the Aged Care Partnering Program, which is an incubator to progress scalable projects led by Professor Karen Reynolds and Professor Gill Harvey
  • a grants program worth $13 million and prioritising areas of urgent and critical need; dementia; and restorative care and rehabilitation.

Applications for round three of the Innovator Training Program open 15 August 2022.

Visit ARIIA’s website to find out more, including the key dates for program applications and running times, and to access the knowledge hub.

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