Manulife and WEF launch 'Longevity Challenge' to boost health and financial resilience

New initiative invites global start-ups to participate

Manulife and WEF launch 'Longevity Challenge' to boost health and financial resilience

Manulife and the World Economic Forum (WEF) have announced the launch of the Prospering in Longevity Challenge through UpLink, the Forum’s open innovation platform.

The initiative marks the beginning of a multi-year partnership announced earlier this year at WEF’s annual meeting in Davos. It is also the first of three innovation challenges aimed at shaping the future of longevity innovation and investment.

Through this challenge, Manulife and WEF are inviting global start-ups to propose innovative solutions for preventative healthcare and financial well-being. These solutions should help people of all generations lead financially resilient and fulfilling lives.

“By 2050, the global population over 65 is expected to double to 1.6 billion, bringing significant health and wealth challenges for our planet,” said Sarah Chapman, global chief sustainability officer for Manulife. “We are partnering with the World Economic Forum and UpLink because of our shared sense of urgency to find inclusive and accessible solutions to help people worldwide live longer, healthier, and better lives.”

The first Longevity Challenge focuses on two main themes:

  1. Strengthening financial resilience across longer lives: This involves creating solutions that democratize access to tools that enhance financial resilience, such as empowering better financial decisions, increasing savings capacity, and developing behavioural-focused financial apps.
  2. Embracing a preventative approach to healthcare: This aims to identify solutions that improve physical and mental health through preventative measures, such as early risk factor detection and intervention, lifestyle trackers, and access to virtual medical care.

Applications are open until July 22, with full project details and eligibility criteria available on the challenge page.

“Innovation is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, and by partnering with Manulife, we are committed to sourcing and scaling innovative solutions that strengthen financial resilience across longer lives and embrace a preventative approach to healthcare,” said John Dutton, head of UpLink, World Economic Forum. “This collaboration will democratize access to tools that increase financial resilience and surface solutions aimed at improving physical and mental health.”

The Prospering in Longevity Challenge builds on Manulife’s ongoing collaboration with WEF’s UpLink. In 2023, the partnership focused on nature-based solutions to climate change, selecting 21 start-ups providing innovative and scalable models for sustainable forest management and the connection between planetary and human health.