Skip to content

Who are the partners of the WELL CARE project

The WELL CARE project can rely on a top-level group of researchers from 5 countries and 4 innovative European non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with longstanding experience in LTC and informal care. It is also based on the commitment of the most prominent European NGOs advocating for mental health, LTC workers, informal carers, and care providers, with a collective reach of over 350 national/regional member organisations across the continent. These networks will be fully exploited for research, implementation and knowledge transfer activities during the project lifetime and beyond.

Research organisations



Linnaeus University (LNU)

Linnaeus University is one of Sweden’s newest higher education institutions, with around 44,000 students in 200 degree programmes. The Linnaeus University was formed when the University of Kalmar and Växjö merged in 2010. The Linnaeus University has a solid expertise in the area of research, teaching and learning, knowledge transfer, and dissemination methods in partnership with key stakeholder groups: end service users and their informal carers, practitioners, decision makers, and researchers. Among its structures, the Department of Health and Caring Sciences is leading a research area on informal care and innovative technology-based solutions supporting older people and informal carers. Eizabeth Hanson established and leads the Informal Carers, Care and Caring research group, which consists of both senior and junior researchers together with doctoral students and post docs. The research is conducted at international, national, regional and local levels employing various methods and addressing informal carers within a life course perspective to co-create new knowledge and understanding and contribute to evidence-based policy development and practice in the field. The research results are widely disseminated via communication channels at both LNU and the Swedish Family Care Competence Centre (Nka) and taken up and used widely in the everyday work via webinars, conferences, consultations and in accessible written format via the websites.

Linnaeus University is the WELL CARE project coordinator. It is responsible for coordinating the scientific work, as well as performing project management and monitoring cross-cutting aspects (concerning ethical, gender, inclusion, intersectionality, and data management issues). More in general, Linnaeus University brings forward the vision of integrated long-term care and care partnerships as key project pillars.



Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VUA)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is a unique university with faculties in the humanities, STEM, social sciences and medical sciences. Our education and research are closely linked. We combine our top position in research with a strong social orientation, which has resulted in an excellent international reputation. Our education and research are distinctly multidisciplinary. This is reinforced by the fact that our faculties are all located on one campus. We are a true campus university in the heart of the Zuidas Knowledge District, sharing its excellent national and international position and accessibility.

In the Well Care project we integrate expertise from our Faculty of Social Sciences and School for Business and Economics, both linked to the interdisciplinary Talma Institute. We take a leading role in developing prototypes that support the cross-European transfer and translation of practices that support the mental wellbeing and resilience of informal caregivers and long-term care workers. Moreover, we coordinate the development of resources and reference materials to support project partners in their work to (further) develop, implement and evaluate of such practices.



National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing (IRCCS-INRCA)

The National Institute of Health and Science on Ageing (IRCCS-INRCA – Istituto Nazionale di Ricovero e Cura per Anziani) is a public elderly care provider based in three Italian Regions (Lombardy in the North, Marche in the Centre and Calabria in the South). It is organized in the form of geriatric hospitals, residential care facilities, an Alzheimer day care centre and multidisciplinary scientific and technology research units.

Thanks to a specific funding granted for scientific purposes by the Italian Ministry of Health, IRCCS-INRCA’s mission is twofold: to provide health and long-term care to older people; and to carry out basic, applied and theoretical research on longevity and ageing related issues. The latter task is conducted following an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach, adopting different analytical perspectives: clinical, biological, technological and socio-economic.

This last component is performed in particular by the Centre for Socio-Economic Research on Ageing (CRESI), that for over 40 years has been conducting interdisciplinary and cross-national studies on the socioeconomic aspects of ageing and of formal and informal care.

IRCCS-INRCA is responsible for coordinating WELL CARE Work Package 2: “Review, selection and analysis of good practices”.



University of Ljubljana

University of Ljubljana is the oldest and largest higher education and scientific research institution in Slovenia. It is renowned for its quality social and natural sciences and technical study programmes, structured in accordance with the Bologna Declaration. Our projects keep pace with the latest developments in the areas of arts, sciences and technology at home and abroad.

University of Ljubljana will collect national data and support the project through its duration.


  • Dr. Andreas Hoff Director of the GAT Institute for Health, Ageing, Labour and Technology (


Goerlitz University of Applied Sciences / GAT Institute

The GAT Institute, established at Zittau/Goerlitz University of Applied Sciences in 2016, focuses on conducting applied research in the areas of health, ageing, labour and technical assistance. GAT comprises of researchers from health, nursing and social sciences, economics, computer studies, gerontology and psychology. The guiding principle of our institute is that only an interdisciplinary approach can master the challenges of the major megatrends of our time – population ageing, digitalisation, climate change and the resulting consequences for individuals and society – and develop proposals for overcoming them. This guiding principle is also expressed in our co-creation research approach. We research the use of technical innovations based on human needs – jointly with the target groups of our research. Technical innovation is important, but the focus is always on people: health and quality of life in old age and at work – and how digital innovations can help with this.

At present, there are research projects within four research areas: (1) human-technology-interaction with a focus on the needs of the intended users of assistive technology (AAL, smart homes, telecare, e-health); (2) research on health and ageing related issues in the future of employment; (3) research on health and long-term care, including the reconciliation of caregiving and employment; and (4) health-related research in relation to climate change and circular economies.

Within the research project WELL CARE we work closely with our partners at the advocacy organization ‘wir pflegen’ to research the situation of family caregivers and care professionals in Germany.



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH)

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a public research university in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. It was chartered in 1789, making it one of the oldest public universities in the country. The university offers degrees covering all areas of science, medicine, and the arts and humanities.

The Department of Geography and Environment is part of the College of Arts and Sciences. As the largest unit on campus, the College supports interdisciplinary research and education across a wide range of fields, including caregiving. The Department of Geography and Environment supports this mission through degree programs and investigations, with strengths in medical and health geography and the health humanities.


Dr. Elizabeth Olson, Professor of Geography and Global Studies, supports the project as a U.S. research partner, providing insights into evaluation and participatory research, and mental health and caregiving models in the U.S.

Non-profit Organisations and Knowledge Translation Centres



The Swedish Family Care Competence Centre (NKA)

The Swedish Family Care Competence Centre (Nationellt kompetenscentrum anhöriga – NKA for short) is a national centre of excellence dedicated to supporting municipalities, county councils and individual contractors in the field of informal carers, care and caring. NKA is commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (MHSA), via the National Board of Health and Welfare Sweden (NBHWS), to contribute to the long-term development of knowledge-building on questions that concern informal carers’ situation and how carers’ support may best be provided. Our team comprises a director, scientific director, administrator/librarian, journalist, communications officer, practitioners and research facilitators.

We have a multifaceted remit;

  1. To support and facilitate development work and the implementation of a carer perspective and support for carers within municipalities, regions and by individual actors,
  2. To act as a link between research and practice
  3. To contribute to the development of methods and tools which are systematically disseminated and monitored
  4. To collate and convey research results and the best available knowledge in the field
  5. To provide advice and support to parents and carers of people with multiple and profound disabilities
  6. To act as a contact point regarding Nordic and international collaboration in the field

NKA is a collaborative platform where key stakeholders ( and social care practitioners, school staff, decision makers, policy makers, politicians, employers, civil societies) actively contribute to shaping our work on both organisational and practice levels. We have an electronic library headed up by an experienced librarian to gather relevant literature. Finally, we have a direct link between research and practice with our NKAstaff, including researchers and practitioners and with the method of Blended Learning Networks (BLNs).

NKA is responsible for Work Package 5 Blended Learning Networks (BLNs) with informal carers, LTC workers and stakeholders. More specifically, NKA ensures that the project develops, implements and sustains a continuous process of research and co-design activities aimed at shared learning and knowledge exchange with end-users (in our project informal carers, LTC workers) and stakeholders at both national and European levels.



Nederland Zorgt voor Elkaar (NLZVE)

NLZVE is the national network of caring communities in The Netherlands. Our constituency consists of 2,000+ organizations that provide mutual support and care within local communities.

The main activities of NLZVE are aimed to support caring communities, both locally and at regional / national level:

  • Strengthening of the commons movement, both within the health domain and in co-operation with other domains such as energy, food and housing;
  • Building strong communities amongst local citizens’ initiatives;
  • Performing (action) research in order to establish new working relations between formal and informal care.

NLZVE is the Dutch advocacy partner, and as such our primary responsibility is setting up and managing the Blended Learning Network in The Netherlands.



Anziani e non solo (ANS)

Anziani e Non Solo is a social cooperative that has been operating since 2004 in the social innovation sector with specific reference to the design and implementation of interventions, products and services in the field of welfare and social inclusion, with a specific focus on long term care.

We have been the first NGO in Italy to work with and for informal carers (young and adult) to provide support services and to advocate for their recognition and rights.

Our activities include being involved as expert partners in research projects on informal care, developing training programmes for professionals from the LTC sector, implementing psycho-social interventions for young and adult carers and being active in advocacy and awareness rising actions to promote recognition and rights of this target group.

ANS will be involved as advocacy partner, ensuring that the perspective of informal carers, LTC workers  and practitioners are taken into account and supporting the implementation of project activities in Italy.



wir pflegen – Interessenvertretung und Selbsthilfe pflegender Angehöriger e.V. (WiPF)

The ngo wir pflegen e.V. is an advocacy and self-help organization for informal carers (family caregivers). Founded in 2008, wir pflegen is committed to sustainable improvements in home care support. By exchanging ideas with other carers, we give relatives more recognition, contact and information as well as a voice in politics and society – as equal partners in care. Our members include former and active family caregivers, neighbours and friends and many other people who are personally, professionally, or academically involved in care and want to help family caregivers gain more appreciation and support.

Since 2010 the ngo wir pflegen ist also a member of Eurocarers – a network, that currently brings together 77 carers’ organisations as well as relevant research & development organisations from 27 countries – a unique combination that enables evidence-based advocacy.

Within the research project WELLCARE the advocacy organization wir pflegen works closely together with her research partner the Zittau/Görlitz University of Applied Sciences (HSZG). As an end-user/non-profit organization within the WELL CARE consortium wir pflegen will set up and implement a Blended Learning Network (BLN) in Germany, and hereby ensuring, that real needs and perspectives from the target group: informal carers and other relevant stakeholders are heard.



Anton Trstenjak Institute of Gerontology and Intergenerational Relations (ATI)

The Anton Trstenjak Institute of Gerontology and Intergenerational Relations is a Slovenian scientific, research, expert, and end-user institution in the field of gerontology, informal care, and intergenerational relations. We are a non-profit organisation, founded by a few experts as private individuals, the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Art in 1992, and in 2004 by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. We are situated in Ljubljana, but we work throughout Slovenia.

As an end-user and research organization, based on a well-developed network spread all over Slovenia, ATI has access to hundreds of older persons, organized in programmes for quality ageing, from active, healthy, and independent older persons to those with chronic diseases and impairments. ATI coordinates WHO’s programme Age-friendly cities and communities in Slovenia, as well as the Association of Informal Carers and Intergenerational programmes on quality ageing. The Institute is also a publisher of expert and scientific literature, reviews, and books related to the field of the Institute’s own work: intergenerational relations, long-term care and holistic gerontology – on the latter, the Institute publishes a scientific journal named ‘‘Good Quality of Old Age’’.

In the Well-Care project, Institute will be involved in all WPs, however Institute´s main responsibility will be the organization and running of Blended learning networks in Slovenia, and support development and implementation of ecosystems and local implementation teams in Slovenia.

European Umbrella Organisations:



Mental Health Europe (MHE)

Mental Health Europe is the main independent European non-governmental network organization committed to the protection of the rights of persons with psychosocial disabilities, the promotion of positive mental health, the prevention of mental distress, and the improvement of mental health care and social inclusion.

Our network currently brings together around 70 members, from 30 European countries. Our membership includes associations and individuals in the field of mental health – including people with lived experience, professionals, service providers, human rights experts.

Our vision is a Europe where everyone’s mental health and wellbeing flourish across their life course. Our mission consists in leading in advancing a human rights, community-based, recovery-oriented and psychosocial approach to mental health and well-being for all.

Mental Health Europe is leading WP4, on Policy analysis, evaluation and recommendations. We are contributing to the project with our expertise on mental health and our long-established collaborations with the European Institutions, international bodies and other relevant stakeholders.




Eurocarers is the European network representing informal carers and their organisations, irrespective of the particular age or health need of the person they are caring for. Our network currently brings together 74 carers’ organisations as well as relevant research & development organisations from 25 countries – a unique combination that enables evidence-based advocacy. Our members are active at international, national, and regional levels.

Eurocarers defines a carer as a person who provides – usually – unpaid care to someone with a chronic illness, disability or other long-lasting health or care need, outside a professional or formal framework.

Our collective efforts seek to ensure that the existing and growing care needs of the European population are addressed in a universal and equitable way and that the essential contribution of unpaid/informal carers in the provision of care is valued, recognised and supported among carer-friendly societies.

Eurocarers is responsible for coordinating WELL CARE communication, dissemination, and exploitation endeavors. More broadly, Eurocarers ensures that the carers’ perspective is taken into account throughout the project’s implementation.



European Ageing Network (EAN)

The European Ageing Network (EAN) groups more than 12.000 care providers across the European continent. Members represent all types of organizations and individuals active for older persons and all types of ownership including for profit, not-for-profit and governmental organizations. The European Ageing Network (EAN) is present in 26 European countries and its members are servicing over 1.2 million older people in Europe.

The vision of EAN is to improve the quality of life for older persons; support its members in making each day a better day for their clients by providing high quality housing, services and care; establishing good contacts with EU institutions like the relevant Directorates General of the Commission, the Council and the Parliament and its Intergroup on Ageing; becoming a key network for the providers in the ageing domain. The purpose of EAN is to promote cooperation between national associations for directors and providers of long-term care services, institutions and organizations or persons associated with/related to the care for the older people, chronically ill and disabled people and to represent them at the European level.

EAN’s project role is not only in communication, dissemination, and exploitation activities, but also in ensuring a “European” approach to professional project activities from the perspective of long-term carers.



European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD)

EASPD, the European Association of Service Providers for Persons with Disabilities, represents over 20,000 support services across Europe. Active in various areas including employment, inclusive living, education, early childhood intervention, person-centered technologies, arts and culture, workforce development, and funding of social services, EASPD promotes equal opportunities for people with disabilities through effective and high-quality service systems.

EASPD will enable WELL CARE to continuously integrate disability support providers’ perspectives within project activities and results. It will maximise the impact by disseminating results and initiatives within its membership and networks and identifying cross-collaboration with existing projects on workforce mental wellbeing targeted at disability care provision. EASPD will also co-organise the project final conference in Brussels.

Back To Top