Cáritas Diocesana de Coimbra is a social non-profit organization that supports people and communities in 5 districts of the Central Region of Portugal.

t has nearly 90 centres (with 150 different services), 1000 workers and 150 volunteers and supports around 25000 people/year with social, health and education.

It’s main intervention areas are; Education; Health; Social Support; Family and Community; Children and Youth at Risk; Ageing/older support; HIV/AIDS; Addiction; Homelessness; Community Intervention; Migrants and refugees; Training; Summer camps and Social Tourism.

Cáritas Coimbra is actively involved in many regional, national and international projects and partners with local universities and schools, research centres, local communities and other NGO.

Currently, Cáritas Coimbra is a member of Ageing@Coimbra, a EIP-AHA reference site with 3 stars; is a founding member of the European Covenant on Demographic Change, an organisation that aims to gather local, regional and national authorities as well as other stakeholders in order to cooperate and implement evidence-based on age friendly-environments and is a partner/coordinator on the D4 group of the EIP-AHA – Age-friendly Buildings, Cities and Environments. Also, Coordinator of 2018 Thematic Network Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments.



Mrs Carina Dantas – Innovation Director

Has a degree in Law, post graduate studies in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, graduate in Addictions Intervention and is a certified trainer. She is Director of the Innovation Department of Cáritas Coimbra since 2011 – responsible for strategic planning; projects; research; and communication areas – media, digital platforms, internal communication, partnerships and networking; she is project Reduz Internal Evaluator and Member of technical and pedagogical council of CEARTE.

She is also the representative of Cáritas Coimbra in Ageing@Coimbra and GrowMeUp; UE Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, in group 4 in RIS3 Centro – smart specialization strategy, in ECHAlliance, in the Delphi panel of experts and person of contact for Caritas Portugal network; member of the Organising Committee of AAL Forum 2018.

Since January 2016 she has been elected Vice-President of the European Covenant on Demographic Change, and she is Main Coordinator of group D4 – Age-friendly Building, Cities and Environments of the EIP_AHA. Also coordinator of 2018 Thematic Network on Smart Healthy Age-friendly Environments (just approved by the EC).

She has produced documents and articles and participated as speaker in many national and international events, like:

Conference of Partners EIP-AHA 2018

Europe Social Housing: looking back, moving forward

WorldCist’17 – 5th World Conference on IT and Technologies

2016 European Summit on Innovation for active and Healthy Ageing

– International Conference Neighbourhoods of the Future;

– International Conference Age-Friendly Environments;

– International Conference Facing the challenge of an ageing population;

– International Conference Building the Future of Health;


Ms Ana Luísa Jegundo – Project Manager

Has a degree in Economics and a Master degree in Management from University of Coimbra. Since 2015 she is working for Caritas Coimbra as a project manager of the Innovation Department, giving support on elaboration and execution of funded and non-funded projects that Caritas Coimbra carries out like the GrowMeUp project. She supports the project’s coordination, contributes to the deliverables, articles and documents and also performs the administrative, financial and technical control of projects. She was a speaker in some relevant international events like AAL Forum 2017 and the Conference of Partners EIP-AHA 2018.

Between 2013 and 2015 she worked as a project manager junior in Instituto Pedro Nunes (IPN) in Coimbra which main activities were management, planning and control of financial execution of the co-funded projects. She followed R&D and internationalization of startups incubated in IPN Incubator and published an article about the bias between real execution and planning of an investment project, co-funded by national and European public funds, with reference: Jegundo, Ana; Martins, António (2014), “A Avaliação de Projetos Cofinanciados e os Desvios na Execução de Investimentos: Estudo de Dois Casos”, Revista Portuguesa de Contabilidade, 4, 14, 257 – 285.

In 2014 she was lecturer of Introduction of Microeconomics of some degrees (Management, Business Communication, and Human Resources Management) in Instituto Superior Miguel Torga, Coimbra.


AFEdemy was founded in May 2017. AFEdemy is a limited private company, based in the Netherlands. The company consists of two owners. It’s mission is to build capacity of local, regional and national stakeholders (citizens, politicians, policy advisors, healthcare and wellbeing sector, architects, urban planners and businesses) in Europe to enhance the chance on implementing age-friendly environments in their territories.

In answer to the demographic change in Europe and the launch of the WHO concept of age-friendly cities and the European Covenant on Demographic Change, AFEdemy develops trainings, courses, study tours, exchange programmes and coaching to enable and empower stakeholders. More specific AFEdemy works on the development of:

– database of indicators, guidelines and standards;

– participatory methodologies to involve target groups in policy making, like older people, shops and businesses, people with different cultural backgrounds, people with disabilities or chronic diseases;

– age- and dementia-friendly environments;

– independent living solutions;

– social inclusion;

– images and prejudices;

– built inclusive physical environments.

To be able to develop expertise and train students, AFEdemy makes use of its own long term experiences with age-friendly environments and IT solutions. Also AFEdemy works in close cooperation with universities, research centres, advocacy organisations and businesses who act as guest-trainers.


Willeke van Staalduinen (MSc), Co-founder (female)

Since 2013 is Willeke actively working on research and implementation of age-friendly environments in Europe. In 2013 she worked as researcher at the Netherlands’ organisation for applied scientific research TNO. Here she worked on the topics smart cities, housing and care, policy platforms and urban strategy. In 2016 she left TNO and founded her own company, Age-friendly Nederland. She was assigned by the municipality of The Hague to deliver support and international relations to the Age-friendly Cities Conference of The Hague (2-4 October 2017) and Joint Action of the cities of The Hague, Bangalore, Suzhou, Frankfurt, Manchester and New York. Also for the municipality of The Hague in 2017, she led a performance audit on the efficiency and effectivity of public services of the municipality. For the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing she worked almost 2 years as promoter for Action Group D4 Age-friendly Buildings, Cities and Environments.

She was work package leader of the AFE-INNOVNET project that resulted in the launch of the “Covenant on Demographic Change: towards an age-friendly Europe” of which she is founding member (2015). She was member of the Scientific Board of the Age Friendly Environments in Europe project of WHO for Europe (2016).

Willeke started her career as nurse in mental healthcare. After she graduated as political scientist, she worked in Dutch parliament. As personal assistant of an MP of the First Chamber and as policy advisor health care policies of the social liberal democratic party D66. Then she continued her career as policy advisor at the Netherlands Board for Healthcare Institutions. This governmental board issued permits for the building of healthcare facilities like nursing homes, sheltered housing and residential care homes. Here she translated healthcare policies into executive building rules and measures on behalf of Dutch healthcare institutions. She also developed trainings and conferences to support healthcare institutions with the implementation of building rules and measures.


Javier Ganzarain (MSc), Co-Founder (male)

Holds a Computer Science Degree, Basque Country University (Spain), and a Master of Science (MSc) in Design and Management of Communication Systems, Centre d’Ingénierie des Technologies de la Communication (France and Spain). He has gained extensive international experience within various project management and IT areas while working in Germany, first in the European Space Agency as a telecommunications engineer, then in a multinational consulting company (Atos Origin) as Senior IT-Specialist and in a German research company as a senior software engineer and project leader. He was over the last 13 years the lead of R&D Department within tioman & partners, SL, which he co-founded and was dedicated to promote and facilitate innovation for better ageing. He was in 2016 and 2017 Promoter of the Action Group C2 “Interoperable independent living solutions” of the European Innovation Partnership (EIP) on Active and Healthy Aging (AHA). His research areas of interest include Human Centred Innovation, Design and Creativity.

Currently he is also Research Project Officer at AGE Platform Europe and R&D Director at INNJOY and collaborates as a teacher of the module “Technology to the service of elderly people necessities” of the Master of Science (MSc) in Social Gerontology at the University of Barcelona. He is fluent in German, English, French and Spanish.


Melvin van der Mark (Bsc.), intern – AFEdemy

Ever since 2014 is Melvin captivated by the raising challenges from the demographic change. During his physiotherapy studies he conducted a European study on dementia-friendly housing facilities, commissioned by the city of Rotterdam. In its succession he continued advising the municipality in other regional projects with similar themes. Soon after he commenced in FP7 and AAL EU research & innovation projects during his internship at Vilans, Dutch National centre of expertise on long-term care. After graduating with an honours degree in physiotherapy, he supplemented his knowledge in Healthcare Technology at Rotterdam University of Applied Science for a year. Before he extended his studies into the master degree Innovation Science at Utrecht University. Where he is still at.

Melvin is no newcomer to international collaboration in research and education. He has held a board position at the European Network for Physiotherapy in Higher Education, and was co-founder of the Honours Student Association Rotterdam. In addition, he initiated international collaboration at the institute of healthcare in Rotterdam, which resulted in an annual international exchange program for all second year students, accredited with ECTS and part of all paramedic curricula’s. He took part in the launch of the Covenant on Demographic Change: towards an age-friendly Europe. Furthermore, he is active in the action group D4 “Age-friendly Environments” of European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Aging.

Currently is Melvin working in the areas of healthcare technology and innovation management. Where he is most interested in analysing innovation models and assessing adoption rates. Also taking in account the fields of health economics, user-centered design, and technical quality evaluation.





Rua D. Francisco de Almeida, n 14
3030-382 Coimbra, Portugal

+351 239 792 430 (Headquarters)

+351 966 825 595 (Headquarters)

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