Bridging the gap between RDI results and their use from micro to the most macro level through Living Labs.
The III ENoLL Summer School took place in Espoo and Helsinki from August 21th to 23rd, 2012. On Monday the 20th August there was a pre- summer school day for participants who wanted to present their research papers on Living Labs.
The theme for the pre-summer school was “Bridging the gap between RDI results and their use from micro to the most macro level through Living Labs”.
See the presentations here.
The Summer School provided participants an opportunity to test and develop the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators introduced “The Innovator’s DNA”:
- Associating – making connections across seemingly unrelated questions, problems, or ideas
- Questioning – a passion for inquiry
- Observing – carefully watch customers, technologies, firms, etc.
- Networking – find and test ideas through a diverse network of individuals
- Experimenting – try out new experiences and ideas
The event accommodated around 170 participants from Living Labs, enterprises, SMEs, municipalities and educational institutions around the World. The summer school therefore welcomed entrepreneurs, innovators, designers, consultants, researchers, local politicians, civil servants, professors and students to participate.
The Summer School had a multilevel approach to Living Labs, exploring both the micro level product development as well as the needs for designing macro level societal innovations and transformation. The summer school participants identified together, compared and developed methodologies and implementation toolkits used in Living Labs. The summer school highlighted the development and future opportunities of the Living Lab movement in bringing together the regional actors with the users, citizen communities, researchers and companies. The Europe 2020 strategy and its flagships such as the Digital Agenda and Innovation partnership were also the focus of the 3rd summer school. Moreover, the summer school co-created methods and strategies on how the regions and the renewal of industries could benefit from the Living Labs approach and how the Living Labs, at the same time, can develop their business models and benefit from the EU funding instruments. For this purpose, practical Living Lab cases such as eHealth/eCare were elaborated during the Summer School.
In order to activate the use and commercialisation of Living Labs results and innovations, the Summer School invited participants to introduce their overlapping innovations to the companies and other Summer School participants. The participants were provided an opportunity to share and explore their experiences related to topics such as building a thematic Living Lab, building a territorial Living Lab, transforming a research organisation in to a Living Lab, building cross boarder Living Labs, or becoming a smart city.
During the three-day summer school, selected experts conducted different learning and innovation sessions. Presentations from previous Living Labs experiences and user driven cases were heard and opportunities for consortium building to address the EU funding instruments were organised. As a part of the Learning method in this summer school, excursions to the Living Labs related sites in the Helsinki metropolitan region were organised. In addition, the participants got familiar to the World Design Capital 2012 programme.
Laurea Living Labs Network was the host of this event with the support of its partners Aalto University and Forum Virium Helsinki. Laurea organised the III Summer School in collaboration with the European Network of Living Labs, Citilab Cornella, the AMI communities, ESoCe NET, Asian Smart Living Summer School.
Within the context of open innovation and user innovation, Living Labs have emerged as an innovation management approach based on stakeholder co-creation and relying on contextual user involvement. Living Labs can be physical regions as well as virtual realities where stakeholders form so-called public-private-people partnerships (Schumacher & Niitamo, 2008; Følstad, 2008; Ståhlbröst, 2008; Almirall & Wareham, 2008; Schuurman et al., 2011). Living labs are built on four key principles: co-creation, exploration, experimentation and evaluation (Schaffers et al., 2007; Pallot M.,2009, Westerlund & Leminen, 2011). Another Living Labs-characteristic is the natural context for end-users, allowing to capture contextual feedback on user experience. In practice, Living Labs have been put to use for social innovation purposes, giving a voice to end-users to allow to find bottom-up solutions to their own needs & wants, but also for more evaluative purposes, validating and finetuning ‘top-down’ innovations from companies or public institutions. Innovation is considered in a rather broad sense, as it can consist of incremental innovation, radical innovation, process innovation, service innovation, etc. This has led to a multitude of initiatives and projects being labeled as a Living Lab.”
As a rather young and recent phenomenon, there are still a lot of challenges and issues to be tackled by both scholars and practitioners. It is necessary to add to both the theoretical and practical knowledge on Living Labs in order to advance the state-of-the-art of this field. Within this call for papers, we welcome both conceptual and empirical papers.