Living Labs at the Joint Research Centre: the European Commission’s Testbed for Smart Energy and Mobility Solutions
BACKGROUND/HISTORY AND CONTEXT OF THE WORKSHOP
Various services of the European Commission promote Living Labs and have them associated to their work. However, within the Commission there has been little overall coordination on Living Labs as a modality for policy design and implementation. The Joint Research Centre, the European Commission’s science and knowledge service, is now opening two of its research campuses to third parties interested in co-creating Living Labs for two selected smart city application areas: transport and energy. The two campuses – located in Ispra, Italy and Petten, The Netherlands – effectively simulate urban environments given the large number of staff, buildings, roads and utilities on the two sites, combined with the scientific expertise of some 1 500 researchers, dedicated experimental facilities and high-speed communication networks. Both sites embrace a technology oriented culture and receive high numbers of visits from leading scientists, policy-makers and thought leaders from all over the world.
MAIN AIM / OBJECTIVE
The workshop will introduce the context of the living labs at the Joint Research Centre, their objectives and the potential outcomes. Then, it will address two issues where there is the need to advance:
– How to link up and animate various thematic living labs in Europe as a multisite testbed for European policy, thus scaling up from local to global (i.e. EU) level.
– How to best use the Joint Research Centre’s sites for facilitating and speeding up the energy and mobility transition to smart cities by employing these locations for both demonstration and training.
By attending this workshop, participants will get awareness of the strategic role of the JRC in the provision of technical and scientific support to the European Commission’s partner DGs for the conception, development and implementation of the policies of the European Union.
In particular, with its strategic position at the interface between policy making and academia, its open policy and unique infrastructure, the JRC can act as ideal living lab to support the conceptualisation and development of future urban ecosystems.
Participants will discuss how the living lab at the JRC can contribute to test the effectiveness and implications of novel solutions in different sectors such as mobility, energy, security etc.
Start-ups, SMEs and other research organisations will have the possibility to test new technologies in a real and safe environment, and can use these tests to stimulate broader discussion on the role of new solutions in shaping the future of cities.
BRIEF OUTLINE / METHODOLOGY
The workshop will rely on a strong participatory approach. Because living labs are based on ideas of co-participation and co-creation, along the principles of Design Thinking, we will prioritise the interaction between experts, practitioners, academics and entrepreneurs alike as conference attendees.
First, being the living lab projects at the Joint Research Centre relatively new born, we have a lot to learn from those who have accumulated significant experience in the field.
Second, we are interested in understanding what are shared design strategies, criticalities and common errors, as well as how to effectively reach out to the citizens as end users of our work.
The workshop will be structured as follows:
1- Introduction: Presentation of the living lab projects at the JRC (work-plan and methodologies, open call for expression of interest, potential for policy making)
2- Parallel work sessions: Participants will be divided in groups that will focus on the questions prepared by the JRC. The sessions will be facilitated and visually reported
3- Plenary discussion Presentation of the groups’ works, identification of the main outcomes of the workshop and lesson learnt.
Deputy Director-General for the Joint Research Centre
Maive RuteDeputy Director-General for the Joint Research Centre
Maive Rute joined the Joint Research Centre, the European Commission's science and knowledge service as Deputy Director-General in 2016. Her current portfolio covers energy, climate change and transport, nuclear safety and security and infrastructure issues. Prior to that, she served as Director for Biotechnology and Director for Resources in DG Research and Innovation as well as Director for Small Business and Entrepreneurship in DG GROW. Before joining the Commission in 2005, Maive was CEO of KredEx, the Estonian funding body for businesses, innovation, housing and export. A graduate in economics from the Estonian University of Life Sciences, Maive holds an MBA from the Danube University, Austria, an MA in international politics from CERIS, Brussels and has been a Visiting Research Fellow at Harvard University.
Geraldine Barry is Adviser to the Deputy Director General, DG Joint Research Centre - European Commission. She has long-standing experience in the promotion, management and exploitation of research. As Head of Communication at the European Commission's science and knowledge service, the Joint Research Centre, she was responsible for all aspects of communication with a special emphasis on corporate image and branding, managing a communications team spread across the JRC's six sites. Prior to this, Geraldine was Head of Unit for Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer at the JRC, where responsibilities included management of the European Communities; intellectual property portfolio. Her current role as adviser to the Deputy Director General focuses on organisational development issues, engagement and outreach and policy communication.
Stefano TarantolaScientific Officer
Stefano Tarantola is a Scientific Officer at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. He graduated in Nuclear Engineering in 1992 and received his PhD in Science and Technologies for Engineering at the Polytechnic of Milan in 1996. He works at the Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate conducting methodological work and pre-normative research in the field interoperability of smart electricity grids and electric vehicles. He currently runs the project for developing a living lab at the JRC Ispra for testing digital energy solutions in the context of the Ispra site modernization program.
Scientific and Technical Assistant
Stefania ContiniScientific and Technical Assistant
Stefania Contini is a Scientific and Technical Assistant at Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. She graduated in Environmental Engineering - Management of Natural and Industrial Risks at the University of Genoa in 2010. She has been working for the Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate since 2013 on communication and facilitation of knowledge transfer between Member States; authorities in the field of safety of offshore oil and gas operations, before joining the project for the development of a living lab for testing digital energy solutions at the JRC Ispra.
Federico FerrettiIT Consultant
Federico Ferretti is IT consultant at the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Federico has studied computer engineering at the Politecnico di Milano and later deepened his knowledge of ICT with a Master in cognitive science at the University of Milan, aiming to explore those aspects of artificial intelligence that may relate with the study of the mind. Currently, he is finalizing a Ph.D. in social sciences at the University of Maastricht, with a thesis on the emergence of “DIY science” and other collaborative approaches to science, focusing on the articulation of imaginaries, expectations and discourses among different stakeholders. He helped in the co-design and implementation of the JRC’s Makerspace, a collaborative space for experimenting with citizen engagement in science and technology issues.