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A new trend of user involvement in open innovation processes has emerged. Concurring with this trend the Living Lab concept has been re-vitalized. This concept has attracted attention lately, but there exist no coherent view. In this paper we discuss and define the concept and propose five key components and five key principles for Living Labs based on experiences from over 30 development and research projects within two Living Labs, Botnia Living Lab and Halmstad Living Lab. The key components are: ICT & Infrastructure; Management; Partners & Users; Research; and Approach. The key principles are: Openness; Influence; Realism; Value; and Sustainability. Our proposed definition of a Living Lab is: A Living Lab is a user-centric innovation milieu built on every-day practice and research, with an approach that facilitates user influence in open and distributed innovation processes engaging all relevant partners in real-life contexts, aiming to create sustainable values.
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A Milieu for Innovation – Defining Living Labs
Birgitta Bergvall-Kåreborn
Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Carina Ihlström Eriksson
Halmstad University, P.O. Box 823, 301 18 Halmstad, Sweden
Anna Ståhlbröst
Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Jesper Svensson
Halmstad University, P.O. Box 823, 301 18 Halmstad, Sweden
*Authors in alphabetical order
Abstract: A new trend of user involvement in open innovation processes has
emerged. Concurring with this trend the Living Lab concept has been re-
vitalized. This concept has attracted attention lately, but there exist no coherent
view. In this paper we discuss and define the concept and propose five key
components and five key principles for Living Labs based on experiences from
over 30 development and research projects within two Living Labs, Botnia
Living Lab and Halmstad Living Lab. The key components are: ICT &
Infrastructure; Management; Partners & Users; Research; and Approach. The
key principles are: Openness; Influence; Realism; Value; and Sustainability.
Our proposed definition of a Living Lab is: A Living Lab is a user-centric
innovation milieu built on every-day practice and research, with an approach
that facilitates user influence in open and distributed innovation processes
engaging all relevant partners in real-life contexts, aiming to create sustainable
Keywords: open innovation; living lab; definition; principles; openness;
influence; realism; value; sustainability; users
1 Introduction
Open innovation has attracted a lot of interest among scholars from different disciplines.
Research on open innovation argues that making use of external as well as internal
resources increases firms’ ability to innovate (Chesbrough, 2006). In contrast, closed
innovation represents a paradigm that primary merely uses internal resources within a
firm’s innovation processes. Open innovation is a paradigm that transcends the
boundaries of the firm in creating customer value (Chesbrough, 2006).
Adding to this movement there is a trend to involve end-users in the innovation
processes to ensure useful and usable products and services. There are different
approaches to how this can be achieved; two of the more well-known approaches are the
“lead user” concept by von Hippel (von Hippel, 2005) and “crowdsourcing” by Howe
(Howe, 2008). Lead users are defined as users that are ahead of the majority of the
general market with respect to a specific trend and are expected to gain relatively high
benefits from a solution to the needs they have encountered (von Hippel 2005). As such,
they could be very useful to involve in firms’ innovation processes. Crowdsourcing
represents the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by
employees or suppliers and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network
of people in the form of an open call (Howe, 2008).
Lately, a new phenomenon is emerging, called Living Lab (Eriksson et al., 2006;
Bergvall-Kåreborn & Ståhlbröst, 2009; Svensson & Ihlström Eriksson, 2009a).
Concurring with the open innovation paradigm, Living Labs draw on the notion of
external ideas as a resource in innovation. Such an approach primarily aims at supporting
innovation processes that lead to usable products and services. In a Living Lab approach
e.g. researchers, firms, users, public partners and stakeholders of emerging technology
collaborate in innovation processes in real-world settings.
Comparing Living Lab with open innovation we identify three differences (Table 1):
Table 1 Living Lab compared to open innovation
Business to consumer with a clear focus on user Business to business (Chesbrough, 2006)
involvement (Ståhlbröst & Bergvall-Kåreborn, 2008;
Svensson et al ., 2010)
Focus on the product/service (Eriksson et al., 2006) Focus on the business model (Chesbrough &
Appleyard, 2007)
External input in the whole innovation process External input focuses on ideas and technology
(Svensson & Ihlström Eriksson, 2009a; Ståhlbröst, (Smith, 2004)
Living Lab Open Innovation
Due to the newness of the Living Lab concept, there is a need for clarification. Therefore,
the aim of this paper is to add to the existing literature on open innovation by describing
and defining the Living Lab concept. Botnia Living Lab is situated in the north and
Halmstad Living Lab is situated in the south of Sweden. Together the Living Labs have
experience from over 30 research and development projects.
2 Defining Living Lab
The concept of Living Labs originates from Professor William Mitchell at MIT, where it
initially was used to observe the living patterns of users in a smart/future home for a
period of time. Today, there is an ongoing trend in Europe to tailor a Living Lab concept
in wider use to “enhance innovation, inclusion, usefulness and usability of ICT and its
applications in the society” (Eriksson, et al., 2005, p. 5). In order to join forces,
coordinate activities and share learning experiences, a European Network of Living Labs
(ENOLL) [1] has developed. Today, the network consists of 129 Living Labs after the
third recruitment wave have finished. Both Botnia Living Lab and Halmstad Living Lab
are members of ENOLL.
There exists no coherent definition of Living Labs, although several actors have
expressed their own definitions. Below we will exemplify with several definitions to
show the diversity in the field and argue for our proposed definition.
There exists definitions from networks, EU-projects and funders of research:
according to the European Network of Living Labs [1] a Living Lab is “both a
methodology for User Driven Innovation (UDI) and the organizations that primarily use
it” while the European project CoreLabs [2] defines Living Labs as “a system enabling
people, users/consumers of services and product, to take active roles as contributors and
co-creators in the research, development, and innovation process”. Furthermore, Living
Lab can be viewed as “an arena for innovation. It is a structure and a long-term societal
resource rather than related to a certain project. Within this structural framework,
experiences, routines and conditions are built to develop ideas into innovations”
(VINNOVA, 2009).
Several scholars have also presented definitions: Eriksson et al., (2005) defined
Living Lab as “a user-centric research methodology for sensing, prototyping, validating
and refining complex solutions in multiple and evolving real life contexts” (p. 4). Ballon
et al., (2005) define Living Lab as an experimentation environment in which technology
is given shape in real-life contexts and in which (end) users are considered ‘co-
producers’. Moreover, Feurstein et al., (2008) describes Living Lab as a systemic
innovation approach in which all stakeholders in a product, service or application
participate directly in the development process.
Hence, the concept of Living Labs can be seen as a methodology, an organization, a
system, an arena, environment and/or a systemic innovation approach. Based on our
experience in the area we argue that a Living Lab is both a milieu (environment, arena)
and an approach (methodology, innovation approach). Furthermore, we base our
definition on the components and principles that characterize Living Labs (see below).
Therefore, our definition is as follows:
A Living Lab is a user-centric innovation milieu built on every-day practice
and research, with an approach that facilitates user influence in open and
distributed innovation processes engaging all relevant partners in real-life
contexts, aiming to create sustainable values.
Since Living Lab is a rather new phenomenon that emerges in such diverse areas as e.g.
ICT-development, health services, and rural development, it is a hard concept to describe.
Due to this, different suggestions for key elements and characteristic have been suggested
(see for example Eriksson et al., 2006; Feurstein et al., 2008; Mulder et al., 2007). To
coordinate the on-going activities around Europe towards the establishment of a
European Network of Living Labs, a Coordination Action project called CoreLabs was
developed and carried out between 2006 and 2007. From this project a number of reports
were delivered with the aim to gain insights into the Living Lab phenomena. Based on
these reports, but modified according to our own experience (Bergvall-Kåreborn et al.,
2009; Bergvall-Kåreborn & Ståhlbröst, 2009; Ståhlbröst, 2008; Ståhlbröst & Bergvall-
Kåreborn, 2008, Svensson et al., 2010, Ihlström et al., 2009), we have defined five key
components of a Living Lab milieu and five key principles for the Living Lab approach.
These are presented in the two following subsections.
2.1 Living Lab Key Components
The key components of Living Labs are illustrated in figure 1. The ICT & Infrastructure
component outlines the role that new and existing ICT technology can play to facilitate
new ways of cooperating and co-creating new innovations among stakeholders.
Management represent the ownership, organization, and policy aspects of a Living Lab, a
Living Lab can be managed by e.g. consultants, companies or researchers. The Living
Lab Partners & Users bring their own specific wealth of knowledge and expertise to the
collective, helping to achieve boundary spanning knowledge transfer. Research
symbolizes the collective learning and reflection that take place in the Living Lab, and
should result in contributions to both theory and practice. Technological research partners
can also provide direct access to research which can benefit the outcome of a
technological innovation. Finally, Approach stand for methods and techniques that
emerge as best practice within the Living Labs environment.
Figure1 Living Lab Key Components
Botnia Living Lab is hosted by the Centre for Distance-spanning Technology (CDT) at
Luleå University of Technology. A board of directors with industrial majority sets the
strategic direction for the Living Lab while CDT provides the technical infrastructure,
manages the partnerships, and is responsible for tactical planning and daily operations.
The research carried out at Botina centers around ICT products and services and includes
areas such as technical infrastructure; user centered and context aware applications;
business models; and new methods and tools suitable for Living Lab.
Halmstad Living Lab is hosted by Halmstad University, which also provides the
infrastructure and ICT, and is managed by researchers. The partners are e.g. SMEs in the
health technology sector, NGOs, municipalities and media companies with different user
groups such as seniors or media users. The research conducted in the Living Lab
concerns open digital innovation processes and methods and tools for multi stakeholder
involvement processes. Special attention is given to the Living Lab approach and how to
find methods and tools for involving stakeholders in distributed activities.
2.2 Living Lab Key Principles
The five key principles for Living Labs are illustrated in figure 2. Below we describe the
five key principles: Openness, Influence, Realism, Value and Sustainability. As the
Living Lab concept is multi-disciplinary, we will discuss these principles with reference
to literature from related areas such as economy, innovation, organization, information
systems, participatory design and human-computer interaction.
Figure 2 Living Lab Key Principles
In open innovation literature (Chesbrough, 2006) the perspective of openness is of
concerns firms driving innovation processes to reach for example new products, services
or new markets. However, openness can also be discussed based on e.g. an individual,
team or firm level. In these cases openness concern how to support open mindsets on an
individual or team level or openness and knowledge transfer between different levels in
an organization. Openness can also be seen as an overarching philosophy that is being
used as the basis of how various groups and organizations operate.
In a Living Lab, digital innovations are created and validated in collaborative multi-
contextual empirical real-world environments. Openness is crucial for the innovation
process in a Living Lab, where it is essential to gather a multitude of perspectives that
might lead to faster and more successful development, new ideas and unexpected
business openings in markets. However, to be able to co-operate and share in a multi-
stakeholder milieu, different levels of openness between the stakeholders seems to be a
requirement. To stimulate creativity and create new ideas that can be turned into
applications and bring value through use, Eriksson et al. (2005) suggest open
collaboration between people of different backgrounds, with different perspectives that
have different knowledge and experiences. More people, including consumers, need to be
involved in the innovation process. This is argued by Thomke and von Hippel (2002)
who claim that users are often the source of innovations. The concept of user driven
innovation (von Hippel, 1988) suggests that users are capable innovators. Thereby it can
be argued that involvement of end users or consumers in the innovation process is
important, hence they should be vital part of an innovation system.
It could be expected from a business and innovation perspective that smaller
enterprises might have strong incentives to be involved in Living Lab processes. Small
and micro enterprises often lack the resources and knowledge that larger organizations
have. One way to strengthen smaller enterprises’ innovation capacity is by collaborating
with other actors such as academia, the public sector and other enterprises (Eriksson et
al., 2005). Living Lab and similar innovation milieus might thereby strengthen the
innovation capacity due to cross-fertilization and open collaboration between different
actors. The Living Lab may also provide an arena where different stakeholders are
needed to in order to commercialize and bring products and services to market, either
support existing relations between business stakeholders or as a milieu where new
partners get the chance to meet and collaborate.
In our projects we have experienced openness on different levels, but we have also
experienced when processes close up due to e.g. IPR issues. The challenge is to create a
milieu where stakeholders are motivated to and have incitement to share knowledge.
Specifically business stakeholders might need economically tangible incitement whereas
user groups often are driven by other motives. These motives need to be identified and
acted upon. Furthermore, the motives for engagement might also differ quite radically
depending on the specific Living Lab context.
A key aspect of the influence principle is to view "users" as active and competent
partners and domain experts. As such their involvement and influence in innovation and
development processes shaping society is essential. Equally important is to base these
innovations on the needs and desires of potential users, and to realize that these users
often represent a heterogeneous group. This means utilizing the creative power of Living
Lab partners, whilst facilitating their right to influence these innovations. By stressing the
decision making power of potential users and domain experts the principle differs from
related concepts such as participation, involvement, and engagement which instead focus
on the activities carried out by users and users' psychological state (Barki & Hartwick,
1989; Baroudi et al., 1986).
In order to reduce the diversity and ambiguity related to the principle of influence,
and to increase its positive impact in practical studies, it is prudent to define and explain
the concept as clearly as possible. To manage this we propose three dimensions linked to
influence: why, who, and how. When it comes to the why of influence, two motivations
can be identified in the literature: a political and a technical perspective. The political
perspective is based on the central tenet that users have a moral right to influence
technological decisions affecting their private and professional life. The technical
perspective is founded on the notion that the effective participation of skilled users can
contribute to high quality products as well as system acceptance. The who of influence is
related to making reflective choices on who to involve in a particular study while the how
refers to the process of participation and on different degrees of participation and
influence linked to different partners.
Based on our experience the meaning assigned to the principle of influence differs
quite a lot among different partners and users. However, to take the step from
participation or involvement to influence, domain experts' and users' needs and ideas
should be clearly traceable in concepts, prototypes, and the finished product. In all our
projects users have exercised influence over the design of the final systems; their needs
and suggestions have influenced the design and been implemented as functions and
features in the prototypes and final systems. However, in most projects they have been
given this influence because the partners kept open minds and wanted to base the solution
on user needs rather than on their own predetermined view on what users like.
However, there is a reoccurring difference between how users and domain experts are
portrayed and the actual roles, activities and responsibilities assigned to them (Beath &
Orlikowski, 1994). While users often are described as drivers and shapers of technology
they still very often are treated as a homogeneous and passive group that carry out
activities assigned to them. Hence, one important issue that Living Labs need to manage
is how to assure that participation, influence and responsibility among different partners
harmonizes with each other and with the ideology of the user influence of the project.
One of the cornerstones for the Living Lab approach is that innovation activities should
be carried out in a realistic, natural, real life setting. Orchestrating realistic use situation
and user behavior is seen as one way to generate results that are valid for real markets in
Living Lab operations (CoreLabs 2007). However, the aim to create and facilitate realism
is an endeavor that needs to be grappled with on different levels and in correlation to
different elements such as contexts, users, use situations, technologies, and partners. The
principle does not separate between the physical and the online world. Instead we argue
that activities carried out in both worlds are as real and realistic to its actors. Being
inspired by the online reality we argue that IT based tools and methodologies can
function as twin-world mediators (Attasiriluk, et al., 2009) which facilitate the
interconnection between real-world devices and their virtual counterparts. Following
Mingers and Willcocks (2004) we also argue that ideas, concepts, meanings, and
categories are equally real as physical objects. These are emergent from, but irreducible
to, the physical world and have causal effects both on the physical world and the social
world. This means that to understand roles, behavior, and relationships related to the
innovation process we need to go beneath the surface and not only focus on what is
Relating realism to Checkland’s real-world concept (Checkland, 1999), means that
the “real-world” situation reflects people’s interpretation of their current situation.
People’s interpretations and how they perceive the situation is related to people’s
worldview, or what they view as important for them; hence, what is viewed as the reality
for one person does not necessarily mean the same for another person. This means that
what is important and motivating for one partner, is not necessarily important to another
partner, which is a rationale for why it is crucial to involve a diversity of perspectives in
the innovation process.
When it comes to facilitating as realistic use situations as possible two different
approaches can be observed in relation to Living Labs. In the first approach,
environments for test and evaluation of products or services are created in ways that are
similar to the real world (Markopoulos & Rauterberg 2000), while in the second approach
products and services are tested and evaluated in users’ real world environments
(Schumacher & Niitamo 2008).
Another important aspect related to the principle of realism, but not specifically
addressed by the principle, is the fact that different stakeholders face different realities.
This means that what is important and motivating for one stakeholder, is not necessarily
important to another stakeholder. For example, as a researcher, the reality can be focused
on producing scientific results, while SMEs’ reality can be to earn money by developing
a new IT system. Different perspectives and views on the reality are also often mentioned
reasons for why it is crucial to involve users as well as many different stakeholders in the
development process. The reality aspect is also considered by focusing on involving real
users, not using personas or other user representative theories.
The notion of value and value creation in a Living Lab concerns several different aspects
such as economical value, business value and consumer/user value. Economical value is
highly tangible and can be viewed from different stakeholder perspectives. Living Lab
activities or outcomes in the shape of innovations can often be transformed into
economical value. Therefore these activities or outcomes can be assessed and evaluated
from an economical value perspective.
Business value is a somewhat more intangible term that includes all forms of value
that determine the health and well-being of a firm in the long-run. Business value
expands the concept of economical value to include other forms of value such as e.g.
employee value, customer value, supplier value, managerial value and societal value.
Business value also often embraces intangible assets not necessarily attributable to any
stakeholder group such as intellectual capital and a firm's business model.
There is a growing recognition that providing superior value for users is a key aspect
for business success (Boztepe, 2007). One way to mitigate competition and open up
entirely new markets is by focusing on creating advances in customer value (Kim &
Mauborgne 2005). One key attribute that distinguishes breakthrough products from their
closest followers, is according to Cagan and Vogel (2002), the significant value they
provide for users.
According to Kuusisto (2008) the concept of value adding services or products imply
that value is contained in the product or the service. The value is created and offered by
the producer. Another perspective is the value-in use concept that focuses on the
experience perceived by a user interacting with products or services in use situations.
This concept implies that the customer is always a co-creator of the value. According to
this concept, the customers experience and perception are essential to be able to
determinate user value (Kuusisto, 2008).
Consumer value can also be defined in terms of the monetary sacrifice people are
willing to make for a product. The primary focus here is on the point of exchange where
money is seen as an index of value. According to this perspective, the assumption is that
at the moment of purchase, the consumer makes a calculation and evaluation of what is
given (value) in respect to what is taken in terms of money (Boztepe, 2007). Consumer
value and consumer needs are also important aspects of adoption and diffusion theory.
Based on our experience, a Living Lab has the opportunity to create value based on
all aspects of the value term. However, a Living Lab might also provide insights about
how users perceive value. These insights can guide the innovation process to be able to
deliver innovations that are perceived as valuable from both an economical, business, and
a consumer perspective.
Sustainability refers both to the viability of a Living Lab and to its responsibility to the
wider community in which it operates. Focusing on the viability of the Living Lab
highlights aspects such as continuous learning and development over time. Here, the
research component of each Lab plays a vital role in transforming the everyday
knowledge generation into models, methods and theories. Other important aspects related
to the sustainability of a Living Lab is the partnership and its related networks since good
cross-border collaboration, which strengthens creativity and innovation, builds on trust,
and this takes time to build up. In order to succeed with new innovations, it is important
to inspire usage, meet personal desires, and fit and contribute to societal and social needs.
However, in line with the general sustainability and environmental trends in society it
is of equal importance that Living Labs also take responsibility of its environmental,
social, and economic effects.
Based on our experience, but also judging by the overall position of existing Living
Labs we argue that there is a need to develop methods that help labs to take care of the
learning generated and to transform this learning into scientifically sound models and
methods. When it comes to the partnership and its related networks different Living Labs
have different constellations, often with a weight on either public or private
organizations. Here, it is important to learn more about how this affects the development
and viability of a Living Lab.
3 Summary
In this paper we have argued for five key components and five key principles of Living
Labs based on our experiences from over 30 research projects within two Swedish Living
Labs. As the Living Lab concept by nature is multidisciplinary we have based our
descriptions of the key principles on literature from several different fields. Furthermore,
as there is no coherent definition of Living Labs available, we have also proposed a
definition of Living Labs, after careful reviewing of existing definitions. In our definition
we argue that a Living Lab is both an innovation milieu and an approach for innovation.
Our definition is therefore as follows: A Living Lab is a user-centric innovation milieu
built on every-day practice and research, with an approach that facilitates user influence
in open and distributed innovation processes engaging all relevant partners in real-life
contexts, aiming to create sustainable values.
The five key components of a Living Lab milieu are:
ICT & Infrastructure
Partners & Users
The five principles for a Living Lab approach are:
Comparing Living Lab with the Lead user and Crowdsourcing concepts, which are well-
known approaches to user involvement in innovation processes, reveals some differences,
which are presented in table 2.
Table 2 Living Lab compared to the lead user and crowdsourcing concepts
CompaniesoutsourcetheinnovationCompanydriveninnovationproc ess Companydriveninnovationproc ess
proc esstotheLivingLab,butparticipatein
theproce ss
BothaninnovationmilieuandanAnapproac htoinnovation Anapproachtoinnova tio n
Faceto faceandITbasedapproach ITbasedapproach
Supportthewholeinnovationproc ess Suppo rtpa rtsoforthewholeinnovationSupportparts oftheinnovationproce ss
proc ess
R&Dandindependentresearchers R&D Noresea rch
LivingLab Leaduser Crowdsourcing
Our contribution to the field of open innovation is an illustration of a new concept, Living
Lab, which combines an innovation milieu with a user-centered approach to innovation.
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[1] European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). Available at:
[2] CoreLabs. Available at:
[3] VINNOVA. Available at:
... The living labs have been proposed as an inclusive and sustainable approach involving various stakeholders, focusing on individuals in their role as citizens, inhabitants, end-users etc., are engaged throughout the digital and green transition process in their real-life setting [12]. Accordingly, LLs can be seen as an approach for facilitating innovation processes, as they allow one to simultaneously focus on individuals, technologies, tasks and structures, and the interactions between different stakeholders [13] To date, much attention has been paid to urban areas as the context of LL activities, the so-called Urban LL [14,15], e.g., the initial list of key components of the traditional LLs were further revised and modified for the context of Urban LL. ...
... The Living Lab (LL) model was defined, for the first time, in 2003 by the MIT Media Lab, an interdisciplinary research lab that encourages the unconventional mixing and matching of seemingly disparate research areas [12]. ...
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The Vulture Regional Park is a unique territory for its geomorphologic and vegetation characteristics but also because of its strategic position between Basilicata, Campania and Puglia which preserves the signs of different ages, territorialization and deterritorialization that have affected it over the centuries. This territory represents a great scientific challenge for our Center that has proposed an innovative technical-operational methodology based on the territorialist approach [1] and on interpretation planning [2]. This tool allows one to recognise the relationships between the nodes of the identity of places, the development of society and the modification of the behaviors of consumption of resources. Our goal is to make the Vulture Regional Park a model of study and experimentation of a Rural and Creativity Living Lab, through a “place-based and people-oriented” approach. We strongly believe that the value and potential of the territory's resources must be considered as a driver for sustainable development and quality of life in an evolving society. It is necessary to highlight the importance of a broad knowledge of the resources that must be respected and defended.
... According to , the real-world context can be viewed as a user-centred space that fosters an open innovation dynamic. These contexts provide opportunities to engage users and stakeholders, understand their needs, and thus develop new products and services, create sustainable value, and achieve management goals (Bergvall-Kåreborn et al., 2009;Dvarioniene et al., 2015;Hakkarainen and Hyysalo, 2013). ...
Innovation labs are increasingly adopted as an organizational and management initiative to catalyse innovation and support the development of an organizational innovation capacity. Despite the growing attention to the role of innovation labs, the extant studies appear scattered. There is a lack of a comprehensive understanding of their relevance as innovation spaces for developing and sustaining organisations' innovation processes. For this reason, this study aims to expand and update the existing understanding of innovation labs by demonstrating their evolution from closed innovation spaces within large firms to organisational catalysts that foster open, collaborative and user-driven innovation dynamics. Adopting a Systematic Literature Review (SLR) based on 152 peer-reviewed journal articles, the study provides an integrative picture of the current literature on innovation labs. In particular, the study proposes a reference framework distinguishing Innovation Labs' typologies and critical dimensions, a comprehensive definition of an innovation lab, a framework to assess the maturity level of innovation labs, and a research agenda to advance the understanding of innovation labs further.
... The object of this study is the Living Lab concept as one type of landscape approach as applied to the two island and mainland municipalities which were funded by the project "Wat Nu?". The Living Labs approach [31,32] aims at supporting local decision makers dealing with rural development challenges, such as those triggered by demographic changes. Based on ENoLL [33], a Living Lab is "a real-life test and experimentation environment where users and producers co-create innovations" and "a locally based regional, national and international infrastructure set-up to enable innovation processes in which users and value chainrelevant actors actively participate in development, testing and marketing phases. ...
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Rural landscapes face multiple challenges, but they can be attractive for developing nature-based tourism. Encouraging place-based participatory governance in local communities represents a relevant transdisciplinary landscape approach. In this study, we map (1) rural and touristic challenges and (2) coping strategies in peripheral–rural municipalities, and we (3) discuss the need for integration of local and regional-level actions. Two island and two mainland municipalities with different demographic profiles and different degrees of touristic specialization in the German Wadden Sea Region were selected as case studies. Through meetings and interviews we mapped perceived challenges and analyzed policies and other coping strategies. We then discuss the need for integration at multiple scales. Island municipalities were more exposed to tourism development challenges than mainland municipalities. Securing public services and welfare, and the sustainable conservation of ecological green infrastructures were particularly challenging. Applying a participatory approach was a coping strategy at the local level. However, there is a need for activities at multiple scales. In coping with rural development challenges, local level participatory approaches and regional planning complement each other. Combination and integration of local and regional-level concepts should be encouraged to support collaborative learning through evaluation.
... Utsjoki -the northernmost municipality in Finland that belongs to the homeland of the Indigenous Sámi people -was chosen as one of the living labs (Bergvall-Kåreborn, Eriksson, Ståhlbröst, & Svensson, 2009) in the SmartCulTour project, to support the development of sustainable cultural tourism with other living labs across European regions. As a nature-based site, Utsjoki provides many opportunities for tourists to seek authentic, nature-related, and unique experiences. ...
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In this chapter, we explore how the methodological layering of art-based methods (ABMs) can engage various stakeholders in sustainable cultural tourism development in Utsjoki—the northernmost municipality in Finland. The case study area is a dominantly rural and nature-based destination where the Indigenous Sámi community plays an essential role in setting up development priorities. In the Sámi way of life, nature and culture are deeply intertwined, as nature-based livelihoods and using local land and water are important parts of the local culture. The municipality needs new solutions for year-round sustainable tourism to replace the highly seasonal wild salmon fishing tourism on which it previously relied. Tourism activities should be designed collaboratively and not disturb the local way of life. Compared to traditional research methods, the participatory and versatile aspects of ABMs can offer more collaborative approaches to create shared understanding and build empathy amongst individuals. It is clear in the existing literature that ABMs are powerful vehicles in supporting certain marginalized and vulnerable groups to make their voices heard. We argue that integrating art-based and service design methods can serve as an instrument to foster stakeholder engagement in sustainable tourism development in the municipality. Through a process-oriented lens, we describe how we employed the methodological layering of ABMs as a bottom-up approach in Utsjoki to achieve a shared understanding of sustainable tourism development in the area in a way that is acceptable to the local community.
... ULLs are used interchangeably with 'living labbing', 'living laboratories', 'transition labs', 'social innovation labs', "testing grounds ', 'hubs', and 'field labs' (McCormick and Kiss, 2015;Steen and van Bueren, 2017). There is no shared definition, having been defined as a site, methodology, system, an organization, arena, and innovation approach (Følstad, 2008;Bergvall-Kåreborn et al., 2009;McCormick and Hartmann, 2017). However, ENoLL has defined urban labs as 'real-life' research environments utilized to confront innovation challenges in various fields (Feurstein et al., 2008;Den Ouden, 2016). ...
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Which characteristic of urban living labs (ULL) that focus on urban sustainability, including climate change and water issues, can enhance its level of co-creation? The main question raised for this research paper builds on the idea that optimization of characteristics can positively affect co-creation levels, ultimately improving the outcome of the urban living lab. Through data collected from an online survey participated in by 29 urban living labs in Eu-rope which focused on varying issues, such as water and climate change, it Position Paper
The comparison between “Measured/Calculated Quality” and “Perceived Quality” are the basis of the “Energetically Friendly Retrofit” methodological approach, which Vanvitelli University is designing through the LiV:ing Lab tool to join the BEXLab (Mediterranean Cross border Living Lab) network. In this project, great importance is given to improving the links between energy-environmental performance, perceived comfort and direct user behavior. The diagnosis method, which starts from the energy audit and goes through the analysis of the building-plant system (especially the envelope) and the assessment of the building’s energy footprint, goes as far as redesigning the whole system, or parts of it, through a conscious interaction between building and user.KeywordsLiving LabComfortPerceived qualityTechnological retrofitEnergy footprint
Urban experimentation has been increasingly applied as a tool for finding new ways to face grand societal and environmental challenges. Social learning and reflectivity that urban experiments might trigger are seen as crucial mechanisms in this process. Nevertheless, it often remains unclear how to concretely enable learning in urban experimentation. In order to address this practice and knowledge gap, an Experiential Learning and Transition Strategy (ELTS) was developed and applied to the Dutch mobile city experiments program (IMS). Its main aim was to foster learning within and beyond the experiment program boundaries. Applying and assessing ELTS to IMS gave a clearer idea of what works (e.g., the use of learning exercises or guiding questions, stimulating “self-learning,” strong moderation, enough time, and a diverse group of participants), and what does not work (e.g., input from individual experts), when organizing learning events related to urban experimentation.
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In this paper, we focus on a new research area, Living Lab that introduces new ways of managing innovation processes. A Living Lab can be viewed as both an innovation milieu and an innovation approach and the aim of this paper is to clarify these two perspectives, as well as to illustrate how they can enrich each other. This is done by presenting one Living Lab milieu, Botnia Living Lab and its key components; and one Living Lab approach, FormIT and its key principles. The presentation is done on two levels, one general level and one case specific level. The case focuses on involving citizens in the design of an e-service aimed to increase their influence in a municipality and its development. Through this, we learnt that the key components of a Living Lab constitutes important structures that enhance the process and as such the principles.
In design research, the issues of what exactly constitutes user value and how design can contribute to its creation are not commonly discussed. This paper provides a critical overview of the theories of value used in anthropology, sociology, philosophy, business, and economics. In doing so, it reviews a range of theoretical and empirical studies, with particular emphasis on their position on product, user, and designer in the process of value creation. The paper first looks at the similarities and differences among definitions of value as exchange, sign, and experience. It then reviews types and properties of user value such as its multidimensionality, its contextuality, its interactivity, and the stages of user experience dependency identified by empirical studies. Methodological approaches to user value research and their possible applications in design are also discussed. Finally, directions for future research on user value are discussed giving particular emphasis to the need of tools and methods to support design practice.
The increasing adoption of more open approaches to innovation fits uneasily with current theories of business strategy. Traditional business strategy has guided firms to develop defensible positions against the forces of competition and power in the value chain, implying the importance of constructing barriers rather than promoting value creation through openness. Recently, however, firms and even whole industries, such as the software industry, are experimenting with novel business models based on harnessing collective creativity through open innovation. The apparent success of some of these experiments challenges prevailing views of strategy. At the same time, many of these experimenters now are grappling with issues related to value capture and sustainability of their business models, as well as issues of corporate influence and the potential co-option of open initiatives. These issues bring us back to traditional business strategy, which can offer important insights. To make strategic sense of innovation communities, ecosystems, networks, and their implications for competitive advantage, a new approach to strategy—open strategy—is needed. Open strategy balances the tenets of traditional business strategy with the promise of open innovation.
Product R&D at many companies is a major bottleneck. The difficulty is that fully understanding the needs of just a single customer can be an inexact and costly process - to say nothing of the needs of all customers or even groups of them. In the course of studying product innovation across many industries, authors Stefan Thomke and Eric von Hippel have found several companies that have adopted a completely new, seemingly counterintuitive, approach to product R&D. Essentially, these companies have abandoned their efforts to understand exactly what products their customers want; instead, they equip customers with tool kits to design and develop their own products. Doing so can create tremendous value, but capturing that value is hardly a simple or straightforward process. Not only must a company develop the right tool kit, but it must also revamp its business models and management mind-set. When companies relinquish a fundamental task-such as designing a new product-to customers, the two parties must redefine their relationship, and this change can be risky. With custom computer chips, for instance, companies traditionally captured value by both designing and manufacturing innovative products. With customers taking over more of the design, companies must now focus more on providing the best custom manufacturing. In other words, the location where value is created and is captured changes, and companies must reconfigure their business models accordingly. This article offers basic principles and lessons for industries undergoing such transformations.
Within the field of information systems, user involvement generally refers to participation in the systems development process by potential users of their representatives and is measured as a set of behaviors or activities that such individuals perform. This article argues for a separation of the constructs of user participation (a set of behaviors or activities performed by users in the system development process) and user involvement (a subjective psychological state reflecting the importance and personal relevance of a system to the user). Such a distinction is not only more consistent with conceptualizations of involvement found in other disciplines, but it also leads to a number of new and interesting hypotheses. These hypotheses promise a richer theoretical network that describes the role and importance of participation and involvement in the implementation process.