Rising life expectancy is an unprecedented demographic phenomenon. The number of elderly people increased sharply in the second half of the 20th century, bringing new challenges for which solutions must be found. As an insurer, AXA is closely involved in these issues and has a central role to play.
The AXA Research Fund, a scientific philanthropy initiative by the AXA Group, is currently supporting 49 projects exploring questions to do with longevity and has allocated nearly €21 million to further the science of living longer.
In addition to providing financial support for independent academic research, the AXA Research Fund encourages the sharing of scientific knowledge so that everyone can benefit. It has therefore joined forces with Scientific American and its French counterpart, Pour la Science, to promote the work of its supported researchers who are exploring areas related to longevity. A total of five illustrated articles have been published, offering clear, accessible insight into these complex research projects:
- Abdul Barakat is a professor at the Ecole Polytechnique in Palaiseau near Paris and holder of the AXA Chair for Cardiovascular Engineering. He is developing smart stents that can monitor artery healing;
- Miia Kivipelto, professor at the Department of Neurobiology, Care Sciences and Society of the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, is working to slow mental decline and reduce the risk of dementia in the elderly;
- Carol Jagger, professor of epidemiology of Ageing at Newcastle University, in the UK, is studying the factors that could help us live both longer and healthier;
- Pierre Vanderhaeghen is a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium and the AXA Chair in Neurosciences and Longevity. He is working on the use of stem cells to cure neurodegenerative diseases.
- Lastly, Professor Manami Inoue, in charge of the AXA Department of Health and Human Security at Tokyo University, helps us decipher the secrets to long life in Japan.
The AXA Research Fund was created by the AXA Group in 2007 to support outstanding risk research projects and share this knowledge with the broadest possible audience. In nine years, the AXA Research Fund has committed more than €149 million to support 492 research projects in 33 countries and to help researchers strengthen their contributions to public dialogue on climate, socio-economic and health issues.