The future we want is one where all older people in Aotearoa New Zealand can live with dignity and respect.


Through the Selwyn Innovation Challenge, we will fund ways to support a vulnerable ageing population (and their families).
We’re looking to create system change, by targeting a range of areas that on their own improve the outcomes for our ageing population and collectively contribute to transformational change. But we can’t do it alone.
From our research we know there are amazing businesses and organisations operating in this area. We also know we have pockets of innovation in the med-tech, health-tech space and incredible initiatives coming out of academia.
We’re surprised there isn’t more innovation or businesses targeting these opportunities and challenges given the significant ageing of our population.
Join us on our journey to support a prosperous and ‘ageless’ Aotearoa New Zealand.

Areas of opportunity

From our research, some trends and exciting innovations we’re seeing include:


Health and wellbeing – AI and digital disease markers, health status monitoring, connectivity with health professionals, addressing sensory decline (vision/hearing), affordable health care, stabilising cognitive function, prevention of falls, mobility/stability, recovery, wearable devices, fitness equipment and programmes.

Financial wellbeing – Budgeting, barter systems and platforms, retirement planning, retraining, self-employment pathways, subsidies or in-kind support for carers, collective buying schemes, debt reduction.

Housing – Innovative housing design (inter-generational housing, co-housing), in-home sensors, product design, senior flatting or home sharing.

Social isolation and loneliness – Digital access, platforms to connect with communities, education and cultural activities, senior public programming, ways to promote life-long learning and community engagement, extended senior programmes in libraries, community centres, museums and galleries, robotics and companion technology.

Digital – Specialised devices, usability (including where sensory or dexterity issues), education. Use of gaming platforms, immersive experiences

Future of work – Retraining, self-employment pathways, micro-financing, senior internships, community engagement/volunteering, study and learning to code.


Transportation – Specialised ride booking, ways to improve public transportation access, driver licence testing.

Cultural connections and wellbeing – Marae, church or cultural-based programmes, digital platforms and programmes, digital legacy initiatives.

Safety and security — Devices/connection to emergency services or family, education or gaming to identify online scams and fraud.

Attitudes and perceptions of ageing — Solutions that will help reframe ageing and support a positive context for kuia, kaumatua and elderly, particularly those with the greatest need.