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Cross-Border Living Labs Networks to Support SMEs Accessing New Markets

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In the last years there has been an increasing number of Living Labs throughout Europe, which are gradually forming a vibrant and still growing community. Several Living Lab networks have been set up on the European, the regional, and the national levels which mainly exchange high-level principles and best practices for individual Living Lab set-up and implementation. This paper focuses on the next steps that these networks must take in order to support SMEs for innovation and gaining access to new markets. The paper presents a methodology framework for cross-border living labs networks supporting SMEs based on network management, which uses results from four cross-border living labs networking experiments in four different settings. The methodology identifies and addresses key challenges for cross-border living labs networking in each setting. The paper presents initial results of methodology development and discusses various challenges in applying the methodology framework to the specific context of homecare and independent living solutions.
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eChallenges e-2011 Conference Proceedings
Paul Cunningham and Miriam Cunningham (Eds)
IIMC International Information Management Corporation, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-905824-27-4
Cross Border Living Labs Networks to
Support SMEs Accessing New Markets
Bram LIEVENS
1
, Hans SCHAFFERS
2
, Petra TURKAMA
2
, Anna STÅHLBRÖST
3
, Pieter BALLON
1
1
IBBT, Pleinlaan 9, 1050 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 26291626, Fax: + 32 26292861, Email: bram.lievens@ibbt.be
2
Aalto University School of Economics (CKIR), P.O. Box 21255, 000766 Aalto, Finland
Tel: +358 505631249, Fax: +358 943138391, Email: hans.schaffers@aalto.fi
3
Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, SE-97187, Sweden
Tel: +46 920492091, Fax: +46 920492849, Email: anna.stahlbrost@ltu.se
Abstract: In the last years there has been an increasing number of Living Labs
throughout Europe, which are gradually forming a vibrant and still growing
community. Several Living Lab networks have been set up on the European, the
regional, and the national levels which mainly exchange high-level principles and
best practices for individual Living Lab set-up and implementation. This paper
focuses on the next steps that these networks must take in order to support SMEs for
innovation and gaining access to new markets. The paper presents a methodology
framework for cross-border living labs networks supporting SMEs based on network
management, which uses results from four cross-border living labs networking
experiments in four different settings. The methodology identifies and addresses key
challenges for cross-border living labs networking in each setting. The paper
presents initial results of methodology development and discusses various challenges
in applying the methodology framework to the specific context of homecare and
independent living solutions.
1. Introduction
During the last years there has been an increasing number of Living Labs – as instruments
to foster innovation – throughout Europe, which are gradually forming a vibrant and still
growing community. These Living Labs do not only differ in the composition and approach
but also in the domains they address and their approach. Various emerging Living Lab
networks have been set up on the European, the regional, and the national levels which
mainly exchange high-level principles and best practices for individual Living Lab set-up
and implementation.
The next step that is needed for those Living Labs to move from awareness creation to
true collaboration is to implement a more detailed analysis of Europe-wide user, market and
technology characteristics and an economically more valuable mode of experimentation, by
networking, comparing and scaling up cross-border Living lab pilots and networks. It is of
particular importance to facilitate the participation of SMEs including micro-entrepreneurs
in this process, both as users and suppliers. The establishment of further networked systems
for open user driven research, development and innovation was also clearly recommended
by the Living Lab portfolio Leadership group in its Living Lab roadmap 2007-2010 [1].
The Apollon project [2] takes up this challenge. It comprises four cross-border Living Lab
networking experiments in four different business areas: homecare and independent living,
energy efficiency, eManufacturing and eParticipation. The experiments focus on validating
the added value of a cross-border living lab network to support SMEs and on development
and validation of a harmonised methodology which supports cross-border networking and
experimentation.
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 1 of 8
The objective of this paper is to present the Apollon methodology framework. This
framework comprises generic and specific elements. Generic elements are largely
independent from the local contexts Living Labs operate in and include a set of processes,
guidelines, principles, methods and tools for setting up and operating cross-border networks
of living labs for supporting SMEs in innovation and market development. Besides, the
Apollon project has developed a research framework to support conducting experiments in
the business areas. Specific methodology elements are derived from the specific challenges
found in the experiments conducted in the various business areas. In each of the
experiments a collaborative network consisting of one or more SMEs and one or more
living labs has been built up to experiment a specific collaborative research, innovation and
market development activity. Table 1 summarizes the business areas, the specific
experiment and the main specific cross border Living Lab networking challenges to be
addressed by the methodology framework.
Table 1: Specific Methodological Challenges Addressed
Business areas
within Apollon Living Labs networking
experiment Challenges addressed by the
methodological framework
Homecare and
independent living Transferring local homecare
applications into another country, to
create an international market
Developing the required value
network or ecosystem, and
appropriate business models
Energy efficiency Transformation of user behaviour in
smart metering projects in four
countries
Developing a common benchmark
framework for user behaviour
measurement
eManufacturing Using a common technology
platform for collaboration between
SMEs and Living Labs
Developing a common platform for
business collaboration
eParticipation A common platform for integrating
services into a new application Developing the common
integration framework
The paper is structured as follows. Section 2 clarifies the background of the presented
work and provides further context of the Apollon project. Section 3 focuses on the process
of developing and validating the methodology, as part of the ongoing thematic pilots’
experimentation, and also discusses the further operationalization of the methodology
framework. Section 4 provides a short case concerning methodology development and
validation in homecare and independent living. Finally, section 5 presents conclusions and
provides an outlook to future work.
2. Background
Explorative research within 6 Living Labs, 7 SMEs and 3 others (research institutes, large
enterprises) of the Apollon project confirmed that the living labs mainly work very locally
(50 %) or in their home country (50 %) as well as that the public and regional authorities
are very significant for their operations. SMEs and large corporations are their important
customers or partners. The SMEs are active on various fields, but software development is
one of the major areas of the R&D for which the Living Labs are being used. For the SMEs
the most important contributions to the networking activities within the Living Lab projects
are the openness and knowledge they provide to the network. This openness is recognized
as one of the crucial competencies for the partners within such network. This also illustrates
the importance of guidance and information delivery as core element of a network.
However, the Living Labs indicate the need for an appropriate methodology to support
these activities. This methodology should form the base for a unified approach and should
be supported by a proper toolset.
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 2 of 8
In observing the various initiatives in networking Living Labs, it can be concluded that
their main objective is to exchange best practices and lessons learned. The networking
activities are targeted to facilitate and achieve this objective. However, for Living Labs to
fully benefit from networking and to be able to operate in a network, further collaboration
and integration needs to be established. Figure 1 presents a maturity approach to stages of
networking of Living Labs. Next to the exploration phase, the harmonization and
integration of tools and methods between the partners is considered as a necessary, next
step in the cooperation between the members of the network. The objective is to have a set
of tools, methods or even infrastructure that enables to exchange comparable information,
to perform research in a similar way within the various Living labs that are part of the
network. Finally, a third objective that the networks indicated is to be able to perform joint
research activities. Partners of various (cross-border) Living labs should be able to set up
and conduct research and innovation activities on a larger scale cross-borderly.
Figure 1. Phased Objectives for Networks of Living Labs
Living Lab networks can be defined as managed collaboration networks (as opposite to
self organizing networks), which feature internal transparency and direct communication.
Members of a network collaborate and share knowledge directly with each other, rather
than through hierarchies. They come together with a shared vision because they are
intrinsically motivated to do so and seek to collaborate in some way to advance an idea or a
concept. The various networks of Living Labs that are already established (e.g. European
Network of Living Labs, Italian Network of Living Labs, Nordic Living Labs, Hispalab,
Open Living Labs Sweden) are still in their initial, orientation phase. In order to meet the
more ambitious objectives it is required to start developing and implementing new methods,
tools, protocols, technical requirements and to establish a better exchange and re-usability
of processes and procedures creating higher impact on the product / service innovator, the
user and the whole local/regional eco-system. For this a synergized cross-border network
methodology and supporting platforms and toolsets for cross-border thematic living lab
networks is needed.
Although previous work on creating such networks of Living Labs has been scarce, we
can learn from some approaches to network creation methodologies. The C@R project on
living labs for rural development has developed a networking methodology based on using
a common technology platform for sharing and reusing services, and also has developed an
action research based methodology of joint testing and validating applications, exchanging
experiences across living labs [3]. Research on collaborative networks has resulted in a
body of knowledge regarding the set up and management of virtual organisations, which is
very relevant for the issue of creating and managing living labs as well [4]. Several other
relevant activities and projects are discussed in the state of the art analysis as conducted by
Apollon [5].
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 3 of 8
3. Developing the Methodology
3.1 Requirements Capturing
The Apollon project has implemented an interactive, participative and learning-based
approach through which the methodology for supporting cross-border living labs networks
is co-developed jointly with the conducting experiments to develop and implement
networks of living labs in selected business areas. The over-all process combines top-down
and bottom-up. Methodology elements are identified and explored for potential use in the
experiments. In turn, the experiment environments identify problems and challenges that
need to be resolved, resulting into a set of methodology requirements and needs. This way
of working offers the opportunity to support the experiments by bringing in ideas and
concepts for methods and tools to the experiments, and in turn learn lessons from the
experiments which are important for enhancing and validating the methodology.
As discussed in the previous section, context-related requirements emerge bottom-up
stimulated by the “action research” approach in the experiments. Additionally we must
identify generic requirements that are derived from generic objectives related to setting up
and operating a living labs network, as well as system requirements that reflect the
technical components of the living labs network. The generic requirements include the
support of key processes and activities in the lifecycle of the living labs network. Table 2
summarizes these key processes and their outputs.
Table 2: Processes to be Supported in the Living Labs Network Lifecycle
Phase Definition Output
Connect
(inception) Identify business opportunity
Start up phase of collaboration
Find partners
Define primary goals and requirements
Business opportunity
Partners and commitment
Initial agreement
Business model analysis
Plan, engage
(definition) Define stakeholder and partner roles
Evaluate business case
Agree contract details, IPR handling
Establish collaboration infrastructure
Plan collaboration activities
Elaborated project plan
Contract, IPR agreement
Infrastructure, platform
Agreed business model
Support
(operation) Co-innovation of product adaptations
Product / service testing
Expert collaboration during innovation
User experience evaluation
Product and service
enhancements
Local adaptation of products
User evaluation and feedback
Manage
(sustain) Evaluation of, and enhancing, the benefits of
living labs networking
Preparing the commercialization phase
Lessons learned
Good practices
Plan for commercialization
In order to enrich and elaborate but also generalize the networking processes for finding
common patterns across the experiments, scenarios have been developed for each of the
experiments. The scenarios follow the process logic of Table 2, typically starting with
business opportunity identification, partner finding and matchmaking. Subsequently these
scenarios are elaborated and contextualized based on the actual experiment conditions.
System requirements can be structured into six key areas that each reflects a basic
component that on the level of the network itself needs to be addressed and organized [6]:
1. Presence and discovery. Partners have to be able to 1. Identify other partners and 2.
Check status in terms of resources, operations as well as availability for collaboration.
2. Communication and end-to-end connectivity. Living Labs as well as partners within
each Living Lab need to have access to sufficient and compatible communication and
collaboration tools e.g. conferencing systems and shared workspaces.
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 4 of 8
3. Interoperability. The Living Labs network should use standardized protocols to
establish interoperability across various heterogeneous platforms. The use of open
standards should also ensure the easy and efficient transfer of applications, subject of
evaluation in these Living labs.
4. Accessibility. The network should also facilitate open access to all Living labs that are
member of this network. Access to and within the network could be enhanced via a
wider selection of multimodal interfaces and devices as well as network connectivity.
5. Security. The network should prevent unauthorized access, replication, or modification
of information as well as issues arising from potential alteration of data by unauthorized
third parties. This is necessary to build up and guarantee trust between the partners.
6. Knowledge and information management. One of the main elements within the network
is the sharing of information and knowledge. The network should enable and support
the exchange of information through various knowledge interfaces.
3.2 Development, Validation and Operationalization
The Apollon experiments on cross border living labs networking to support SMEs follow
the phases of 1. Preparation of experiments, 2. Set-up of experiments, 3. Cross-border
piloting and 4. Evaluation. Experimentation is guided by a research framework, ensuring a
common and harmonised approach to the complementary networking challenges mentioned
in Table 1. This research framework is based upon a design science approach ([7], [8]) and
can be visualized as a matrix of questions, based on different types of experiment outputs
that follow the stages of building, evaluating, justifying and generalizing (Table 3).
Table 3. Research framework for Experimentation and Methodology Development
Activities
Outputs Build Evaluate Justify Generalize
Constructs
(problems, use
cases)
What are the
variables that you
study?
What are the
elements that you
measure?
How do you decide
best practices across
the experiments?
How do you filter
pilot specific
elements out?
Model
(research
questions and
outcomes)
What are the basic
assumptions,
causalities and
outcomes ?
What measures do
you use to evaluate
the validity of the
assumptions?
What are the
success criteria that
you use?
How do you assess
the wider
applicability of the
model?
Method What is the process
for validating the
assumptions?
How do you
evaluate and adjust
the validation
process?
How do you justify
the use of selected
methods?
How do you ensure
the scalability and
wider applicability
of the methods?
Instantiation
(pilot) Who are the
stakeholders at your
experiment?
How do you
evaluate added
value for each
stakeholder?
How do you justify
the selected
collaboration
model?
How do you
compile
recommendations
for sustainability
This framework is jointly applied to experimentation and methodology development.
Methodology is considered as an artifact itself, and the process of building, evaluation,
justification and generalizing applies to the methods, tools, collaboration models and other
elements of the methodology. Current work on developing and validating the methodology
in Apollon extends this framework to the living labs networking lifecycle (Table 2). In the
four experiments, dedicated methods and tools are developed and applied for the different
phases of connect, plan and engage, support, and manage. Validation follows the pattern of
three-monthly cycles in which methods and tools are conceived, elaborated, introduced and
actually used, as well as experiences documented and lessons learned. Monitoring this
three-monthly process gathers observations that are of use for both methodology
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 5 of 8
development and experimentation. Some early results for the business area of home care
and independent living are discussed in section 4.
Further operationalization of the framework is currently underway in different
directions. In the first place, the framework is based on a detailed analysis of processes that
are supported by methods and tools. Scenario construction has been helpful as a tool to
elaborate these processes and conceptualize methods and tools that are able to support the
processes. Second, methods, tools and templates are elaborated that address (generic and
specific) needs and requirements. Such methods and tools include, for example, project
management and project governance in cross-border contexts, partner finding,
matchmaking, contract agreement, business model evaluation, and collaborative platforms.
4. Experiences in Applying the Framework: Homecare Innovations
4.1 Experiment Setting
The homecare and independent living experiment aims to assess the use of remote gateway
and sensor-based systems in various contexts and markets. Within the Apollon project 4
living labs are clustered that focus on applications, services and technologies in this
domain: the Living Lab in Belgium (IBBT), the Amsterdam Living Lab in the Netherlands
(AIM), the Herttoniemi Living Lab in Finland (Form Virium), and Living Lab Salud
Andalucia in Spain (IAVANTES). Each living lab has their own ecosystem with
stakeholders and users. As the health sector is strongly determined by local specific value
chains and regulations, the living labs investigate the required ecosystem and approach for
successful replication and to assess its role within the cross border networking.
The overall objective of this cross-border experiment is to investigate the required eco-
system and related conditions for successfully transferring solutions of SMEs from one to
another context, using the living lab as a local hub. Successful replication requires insights
in the nature of the eco-system to be created in the new market, in to what extent the
already existing ecosystem should be adapted, and in how the transformation should be
managed. The experiment comprises two existing homecare services (one in advanced pilot
stage, one commercially available), which have been developed and offered by local SMEs
and are transferred into a new context and market through an ad-hoc network of Living
Labs. The first service is Xtramira™, a videophony solution compatible with existing
personal alarm systems connected to regular television sets and developed by the Flemish
SME Televic. This technology and service was transferred from Belgium (Flanders) to
Helsinki (Finland). The second service (Activities of Daily Living) is a sensor network
placed in the users’ home and developed by the Dutch SME Innoviting. This service was
transferred from the Netherlands to Spain.
4.2 Methodological Challenges
Methodological challenges in supporting the transfer include (a) how to set-up a similar
eco-system and finding the right partners for testing a similar business model, (b) assessing
the impact of such transfer on SMEs technology as well as operational activities and (c)
investigating the limits of Living Labs existing role which is mainly locally oriented. In
setting up the cross-border pilot for the two homecare projects the overall Apollon
methodology was followed. The connect, plan and engage, support and govern, as well as
the manage and track phases were operationalized in a pragmatic approach.
The first step was to investigate and define the necessary requirements to establish the
transfer. Such assessment was performed on three levels. At the technologically level it was
examined how the set-up and service needed to adjust (translations, plugs, connectivity and
other issues). On the research level it was focused on user participation needs and on how
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 6 of 8
to evaluate user feedback. Finally, eco-system requirements were investigated, for example
which parties were to be involved, how to define roles and responsibilities, and which
contextual elements (e.g. legislation and health organisation) should be taken into account.
The second step, based on this requirement analysis, was to develop a common
approach and process concerning the cross-border pilots experiments. Main focus was on
the overall processes with regard to the experimentation, and on the business model. This
included not only operational activities but also to specific research goals, business
objectives and contextual factors. Once the general processes and principles of working
were clarified the preparatory transfer work was started. This was done on the local level,
e.g. each SME adjusted their technologies in their own lab while the remote partners
(Living Labs) would set-up the required technical infrastructure and engage users. One of
the most important activities during this phase was identifying and engaging the relevant,
local stakeholders that are willing to participate and collaborate. Especially within a health-
related context the involvement of supporting, cooperative partners is a necessity.
The third step included preliminary, in house-testing and training. This was needed to
ensure proper functioning of the technologies and protocols. In addition the data collection
that supports the various research objectives and evaluations was set up. Test users were
recruited, activated and profiled. During live operation of the pilot in which technologies
are used in a real life setting, various evaluation moments are foreseen in order to detect
any issues swiftly acting as input for the iterative development cycles. For the latter, the
user input is analysed and transferred towards the different partners, adjustments are made
and the revised technology is immediately again transferred into the Living lab.
In the cross-border set-up of the Living Lab projects a Living Lab centred approach is
followed. This means that the Living Labs both at the home and remote locations play a
critical role. Not only these living labs act as the “hub” for the SMEs, they also perform
most of the set-up and execution activities of the cross-border project. At the end of the
pilot an over-all evaluation and impact assessment exercise will be performed.
4.2 Lessons Learned
The transfer of the homecare services from one market or ecosystem to another has
provided useful insights in cross-border living lab activities. First of all, regarding cross-
border experiments it was noticed that it is difficult working with one fixed method.
Although the different phases of the overall Apollon methodology cover the necessary steps
and aspects, the operationalization and implementation differs from pilot to pilot.
Therefore, a common cross-border methodology is feasible only at a generic level.
Secondly, it is important that in the identification of requirements special attention is given
to the specific business requirements of the involved stakeholders. Especially when
working with SMEs one has to ensure that the activities of the cross-border project are fully
in line with the company’s existing roadmap. If this is too much ‘off-track’ it will be very
difficult to engage (local) stakeholders to participate and invest in such a project. This is
important in setting the scope of joint projects and is crucial during the connect phase. A
good understanding and agreement among all partners is necessary before entering a new
phase. Third, if an SME wants to enter a new and unknown market, it relies on the local
living lab for providing them the necessary contextual information and to do the
matchmaking with local stakeholders. This offers a challenge to the current role of Living
Labs as facilitators towards a more development oriented role, which implies a different set
of processes, methods and tools to enable them to address these demands. Fourth, from a
more operational point of view we noticed that a cross-border activity requires an intensive
communication and tracking role, again requiring suitable processes, methods and tools.
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 7 of 8
Regarding the eco-system, two main aspects should be noticed. First, due to the large
differences in how the health sector is organized in each region, as well as in the diversity
of the Living Lab structures, creating a common eco-system between those Living Labs
will be highly difficult or even impossible. Second, the eco-system cannot be approached in
a unilateral way. It is not sufficient to have the same type of partners on board. The eco-
system also applies on other levels such a legal aspects, technological conditions and
cultural differences. In preparing cross-border living labs networks, all these aspects should
be dealt with.
5. Conclusions and Outlook
In this paper we have outlined a methodology framework of processes, methods and tools
for cross-border networking of living labs aiming to support SMEs innovation and access to
new markets. The framework is grounded in the management cycle of collaborative
networking. Actual development and elaboration of the framework, including the particular
difficulties experienced, has been illustrated through an analysis of the homecare and
independent living experiment. Key methodology elements of relevance for this case
include project planning (with emphasis to guiding the transfer process of a local solution to
another market), value network analysis, and business model design. In the three other
experiments, complementary challenges are explored, which eventually leads to a
comprehensive methodological framework. Although the Apollon project is still
underway, a main conclusion is that methodology development is a combination of bottom-
up and top-down development. Bottom-up the needs and requirements emerge from the
actual cross-border living lab experiment, whereas top-down ideas and concepts are
proposed that need validation in the experimental situation. This implies that methodology
development and actual experimentation are two sides of one coin, and shaping the
experiment process is part of the methodology. A related conclusion is that the local
experiment circumstances determine, to a large extent, the operationalization of the
framework. Follow-up work within the Apollon project will include the development and
validation of specific methods and tools tailored to the priority challenges in the
experiments and made accessible in a foreseen Knowledge Center portal.
Acknowledgements
This article is based on results of the APOLLON project, funded in the CIP ICT-PSP programme of the
European Commission (http://www.apollon-pilot.eu). The authors acknowledge the different partners and
team members that have contributed to the work carried out in this project.
References
[1] http:/www.tssg.org/archives/2007/03/corelabs.html, last visited on July 1, 2011
[2] Website of Apollon project (CIP ICT-PSP): www.apollon-pilot.eu
[3] Schaffers, H., J. García Guzmán, M. Navarro, C. Merz (Eds.) (2010). Living Labs for Rural development.
Results from the C@R Integrated Project. TRAGSA, Madrid.
[4] Camarinha-Matos, L.M., H. Afsarmanesh, M. Ollus (2008). Methods and Tools for Collaborative
Networked Organisations. Springer.
[5] Apollon project: D1.1 A Catalogue of state-of-the-art concepts, existing tools and lessons learned for
cross-border Living Lab network. Available via www.apollon-pilot.eu
[6] Fahy, W., T. Power et al (2006). Corelabs. Technological & mass customization aspects. Deliverable 3.2
from the Corelabs project. Available at www.ami-communities.eu
[7] March, S.T. and G. Smith (1995): Design and natural science research on information technology.
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Quarterly Vol. 28 No. 1, March.
Copyright © 2011 The Authors www.eChallenges.org Page 8 of 8
... Although living labs are open innovation networks, literature discussing them as networks remains scarce. Studies adopting the network perspective have analyzed living labs as (i) a broader network of living labs (Dutilleul et al., 2010), (ii) actors in the innovation system (Dutilleul et al., 2010), (iii) cross-border innovation networks (Lievens, Schaffers, Turkama, Ståhlbröst, & Ballon, 2011), (iv) dual networks , and (v) networks of multiple stakeholders (Feurstein, Hesmer, Hribernik, & Schumacher, 2008). Open innovation assumes self-organizing governance and voluntary collaboration between the actors (Fjeldstad, Snow, Miles, & Lettl, 2012). ...
... Therefore, we adopted a longitudinal research approach to analyze the change in living labs focused on urban development from 2009 through 2015. Our findings related to change processes in living labs and include three contributions to research on open innovation networks and living labs (e.g., Dutilleul et al., 2010;Feurstein et al., 2008;Lievens et al., 2011;Nyström et al., 2014), as well as business network dynamics related to studying processes of change (e.g., Abrahamsen et al., 2012;Houman Andersen & Medlin, 2016;Van de Ven, 1992). This section discusses the theoretical contributions, managerial implications, as well as the limitations of the study. ...
... We propose that, by having knowledge of possible change processes and their influencing factors, we can better understand open innovation networks such as living labs and their complexity of cooperation. This, in turn, advances previous studies on living labs from a network perspective conducted by, e.g., Dutilleul et al. (2010) and Lievens et al. (2011). Finally, our study contributes to process and change literature by focusing on real-life environments when studying change processes. ...
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... Moreover, many studies put forward that living labs are associated with regional systems (cf. Oliveira et al., 2006) and ecosystems (Lievens et al., 2011;Schaffers and Turkama, 2012;Tang et al., 2012). Leminen (2015) reviews a variety of scholarly work on living labs and argues that living labs can be understood as networks: ...
... 1 a network of living lab networks (Mavridis et al., 2009;Dutilleul et al., 2010) 2 living lab networks in the innovation system (Dutilleul et al., 2010) 3 cross-border living lab networks (Lievens et al., 2011) 4 dual living lab networks (Nyström et al., 2014) 5 single living lab networks comprising many stakeholders (Feuerstein et al., 2008). Many studies reflecting system, ecosystem, or network perspectives suggest that living labs: 1 incorporate multiple stakeholders (cf. ...
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This research distinguishes various research perspectives to innovation through living labs based on a comprehensive literature review. Our study makes a significant contribution to the emerging literature on living labs by identifying eight key research avenues that scholars have taken to date in effort to understand how and why innovation takes place in living labs. Moreover, the paper establishes an integrative framework to position the identified research streams. It illustrates that the divergent streams share two assumptions: living labs are real-life environments and users have a crucial role in innovation.
... Living labs are understood as virtual or physical interaction spaces for creation, prototyping, validating, and testing of new technologies, services, products, and systems in real-life contexts characterized by the collaboration of people, users, citizens, communities, public agencies, private sector, companies, small and medium enterprises, universities, non-governmental and non-profit organizations, and other various stakeholders [1], [2]. They are characterized as "open innovation ecosystems" that place people at the center of development and innovation [1], [3]. The living lab approach is widely used in urban design, in urban planning and management, as a tool that contributes to the creation of dynamic multidimensional solutions for sustainable, resilient, livable, and people-friendly cities. Urban living labs are based on the idea of involving citizens to co-create the city. ...
... However, this cross-border validation of innovation is still a work in progress within the ENoLL. Within the Apollon EU project 30 some preliminary successes were reported with SMEs involved in cross-border Living Lab tests (Lievens et al., 2011), but during the 2014 ENoLL Living Lab Days, two separate workshops were held in order to come to a more sustainable offering of cross-border Living Lab services 31 , as this remains non-existent outside the scope of European projects. ...
... Ballon et al., 2005;Eriksson et al., 2005) • An ecosystem (cf. Lievens et al., 2011;Schaffers & Turkama, 2012;Tang et al., 2012) • A network (cf. Leminen, 2013Leminen, , 2015Leminen et al., 2014a, forthcoming;Nyström et al., 2014) • A combined approach (cf. ...
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The term "living lab" is at risk of becoming a buzzword in the innovation domain because it lacks a consistent or commonly accepted definition. Indeed, a wide variety of activities are carried out under the umbrella of living labs, and they feature many different methodologies and research perspectives. However, even if a common definition is beyond our reach, insights can be gained by understanding the common characteristics and types of living labs. Here we examine typical usages of the term "living lab" and how such labs may be categorized and studied; we also outline the practical benefits of this form of innovation.
... Consistent with some previous studies (Lievens et al., 2011;Sauer, 2012) we argue that urban living labs should combine bottom-up and top-down developments. Whereas a bottom-up approach helps to identify needs and unanticipated ideas, a top-down approach is needed to validate ideas and concepts and to provide a formal structure. ...
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Urban areas are often characterized by complex problems, such as social and economic deprivation, segregation, or bureaucratic administration. Urban living laboratories provide a promising approach to redefining and tackling such problems in novel ways by enabling bottom-up innovation with various actors. The present study examined an urban living lab initiative in a suburban area of Espoo, Finland, where guided workshops based on the Change Laboratory method were arranged. The findings show that, before development projects are launched, it is important to dedicate sufficient time to the early innovation process, which includes building relationships, sharing knowledge, exploring ignorance, and innovating new concepts. The study emphasizes the importance of distinguishing early innovation processes from later ones, which means separating the "preject" from the "project". We conclude that successful management of an urban living lab combines bottom-up and top-down approaches.
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This chapter presents the innovative activity related to the international research project Med-EcoSuRe (Mediterranean University as Catalyst for Eco-Sustainable Renovation) developed by nine partners in four countries with the aim to implement an efficient approach for energy renovation of educational institutions in the Mediterranean area. The idea is that universities can play a strategic role to define innovative schemes for decision support in building renovation processes, and that university buildings can be renovated as pilots. Low-energy educational buildings are becoming the standard for new buildings in European and Mediterranean countries. Technical solutions are continuously developed by universities for eco-sustainable building renovation, but there is still a gap between designed models and their actual application. This is due to several barriers, such as the insufficient collaboration between key actors and the lack of efficient suitable tools from the public sector to develop solutions. The project offers an innovative approach for the definition and diffusion of cost-effective energy renovation within university buildings, with the perspective of extending results to the whole public buildings sector in the long term. Principles and methodologies for the setting up and implementation of the Cross-border Living Lab focus on the combination of the Living Lab and the Digital Twin approaches, implementing a platform bringing together researchers, building managers, companies, public organizations and students, to drive a more informed decision making to develop energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions as well as retrofitting schemes to be implemented in nine university buildings selected as pilot projects.
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The paper is based on the research carried out into Living Labs in Canada. The aim of the paper is presenting the essence of Living Labs as a concept facilitating innovation generation in businesses thanks to the cooperation of various actors, e.g. producers with users, inspiring the process of the development of new goods and services. The research questions raised pertain to the clarification how Living Labs create innovation in businesses. The Living Labs functioning in the Ontario region were the subject matter of the research. The described case study is theorygenic in character because of the early development stage of the knowledge. During the research process the multi-directional nature and the impact dynamics of the idea of Living Labs among peer partners of innovative processes have been noted, emphasizing the prosumer idea as well as the possibility of businesses cooperating in Living Labs.
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http://timreview.ca/article/740 Previous research on living labs has emphasized the importance of users and a real-life environment. However, the existing scholarly discourse lacks understanding of innovation mechanisms in diverse living lab networks, especially from the perspectives of coordination and participation. This study addresses the research gaps by constructing a framework for analyzing coordination (i.e., top-down versus bottom-up) and participation (i.e., inhalation-dominated versus exhalation-dominated) approaches in living lab networks. The classification is based on a literature review and an analysis of 26 living labs in four countries. Given that inhalation and exhalation dominance have not been discussed previously in the innovation literature, the study provides novel ways for both scholars and managers wishing to exploit or explore innovations in living labs. The framework reveals the opportunities for practitioners of innovation with respect to coordination and participation in living lab networks
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Collaborative Networked Organizations represent one of the most relevant organizational paradigms in industry and services. A large number of developments in recent years have turned Collaborative Networks into a pervasive phenomenon in all socio-economic sectors. The main aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive set of reference materials derived from the results of the ECOLEAD project in one organized volume. The ECOLEAD project, a large 4-year European initiative, involved 28 organizations (from academia, research and industry), from 14 countries (in Europe and Latin America). Three main types of results from ECOLEAD are presented: (i) Conceptual frameworks and models, (ii) Methods and processes, and (iii) Software tools and systems. Furthermore, the experience and lessons learned with a number of large pilot implementations in real-world running networks of enterprises are also included as an indication of the assessment/validation of the project results. Methods and Tools for Collaborative Networked Organizations provides valuable elements for researchers and practitioners involved in the design, implementation, and management of collaborative forms in industry and services. © 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC All rights reserved.
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Research in IT must address the design tasks faced by practitioners. Real problems must be properly conceptualized and represented, appropriate techniques for their solution must be constructed, and solutions must be implemented and evaluated using appropriate criteria. If significant progress is to be made, IT research must also develop an understanding of how and why IT systems work or do not work. Such an understanding must tie together natural laws governing IT systems with natural laws governing the environments in which they operate. This paper presents a two dimensional framework for research in information technology. The first dimension is based on broad types of design and natural science research activities: build, evaluate, theorize, and justify. The second dimension is based on broad types of outputs produced by design research: representational constructs, models, methods, and instantiations. We argue that both design science and natural science activities are needed to insure that IT research is both relevant and effective.
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Two paradigms characterize much of the research in the Information Systems discipline: behavioral science and design science. The behavioral-science paradigm seeks to develop and verify theories that explain or predict human or organizational behavior. The design-science paradigm seeks to extend the boundaries of human and organizational capabilities by creating new and innovative artifacts. Both paradigms are foundational to the IS discipline, positioned as it is at the confluence of people, organizations, and technology. Our objective is to describe the performance of design-science research in Information Systems via a concise conceptual framework and clear guidelines for understanding, executing, and evaluating the research. In the design-science paradigm, knowledge and understanding of a problem domain and its solution are achieved in the building and application of the designed artifact. Three recent exemplars in the research literature are used to demonstrate the application of these guidelines. We conclude with an analysis of the challenges of performing high-quality design-science research in the context of the broader IS community.
Chapter
Full-text available
Collaborative Networked Organizations represent one of the most relevant organizational paradigms in industry and services. A large number of developments in recent years have turned Collaborative Networks into a pervasive phenomenon in all socio-economic sectors. The main aim of this book is to provide a comprehensive set of reference materials derived from the results of the ECOLEAD project in one organized volume. The ECOLEAD project, a large 4-year European initiative, involved 28 organizations (from academia, research and industry), from 14 countries (in Europe and Latin America). Three main types of results from ECOLEAD are presented: (i) Conceptual frameworks and models, (ii) Methods and processes, and (iii) Software tools and systems. Furthermore, the experience and lessons learned with a number of large pilot implementations in real-world running networks of enterprises are also included as an indication of the assessment/validation of the project results. Methods and Tools for Collaborative Networked Organizations provides valuable elements for researchers and practitioners involved in the design, implementation, and management of collaborative forms in industry and services.
Data
Two paradigms characterize much of the research in the Information Systems discipline: behavioral science and design science. The behavioral-science paradigm seeks to develop and verify theories that explain or predict human or organizational behavior. The design-science paradigm seeks to extend the boundaries of human and organizational capabilities by creating new and innovative artifacts. Both paradigms are foundational to the IS discipline, positioned as it is at the confluence of people, organizations, and technology. Our objective is to describe the performance of design-science research in Information Systems via a concise conceptual framework and clear guidelines for understanding, executing, and evaluating the research. In the design-science paradigm, knowledge and understanding of a problem domain and its solution are achieved in the building and application of the designed artifact. Three recent exemplars in the research literature are used to demonstrate the application of these guidelines. We conclude with an analysis of the challenges of performing high-quality design-science research in the context of the broader IS community.
Living Labs for Rural development. Results from the C@R Integrated Project
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Schaffers, H., J. García Guzmán, M. Navarro, C. Merz (Eds.) (2010). Living Labs for Rural development. Results from the C@R Integrated Project. TRAGSA, Madrid.
Corelabs. Technological & mass customization aspects
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Fahy, W., T. Power et al (2006). Corelabs. Technological & mass customization aspects. Deliverable 3.2 from the Corelabs project. Available at www.ami-communities.eu