Living Labs in Science Centres

Living Labs in Science Centres: how to build a larger and stronger community for Science Centre's living labs


   NAUSICAA is Europe’s biggest aquarium and a key player for the Blue Society since 1991. The Blue Society is how to harness the unknown potential of the ocean and its resources in a sustainable way to cater for our society’s present and future needs. NAUSICAA works to raise the citizen’s awareness through in-house exhibitions, events and educational workshops. In addition, it works as a facilitator in many European projects in research and innovation. 

   We’ve decided to enhance this role as a facilitator by launching the Blue Living Lab, an open innovation platform for Blue Innovation projects. Every day project leaders connect with over one million visitors in NAUSICAA’s infrastructures to explore and codesign innovative products/services for or inspired by the Ocean.

    As a Science Centre, most of our living lab’s activities take place on site with our visitors. However, we think project leaders with an open innovation strategy should open to a larger community.


   A Science Centre teaches visitors through action and commitment to raise their awareness more efficiently. Then, living lab activities and workshops are a great way to turn visitors into actors/contributors during their visit. We need to design best ways to interact with visitors and invite them to connect with project leaders during their visit.

    Visitor’s living lab experience shouldn’t stop once they leave. A Science Centre’s living lab should extend the scope of its mission out of the Centre and after the visiting experience. The living lab’s community should involve visitors into long-term innovation cycles. It also has to build a larger community and create a more global base of contributors.

   Therefore, this workshop will aim to create a full living lab experience in Science Centres by creating before-during-after and in-and-out workshops to build a strong and large community of participants.


– Develop a toolbox to interact with visitors in an innovative way to invite them to contribute to the living lab during and after their visit of the Science Centre 

– Create a before-during-after experience for a Science Center’s living lab. 

– Identify creative solutions to bring a Living Lab outside the Science Centre to allow project leaders to co-innovate with a larger community. 

– Identify, reach and retain a strong and large community of participants, by using the Science Centre’s network of partners.


   After a presentation of the Blue Living Lab and this workshop’s goals, we will split the workshop in two different parts.
  The first part will focus on creating an innovative on-site experience inviting visitors to participate, ideate and experiment during their visit in a Science Centre. At the end of this moment, we should figure out an ideal workshop model (duration, methods, tools, place, number of participants, open/close access…). We will find ways to extend the experience after the visit to retain participants and invite them to keep on contributing.
  The second part will aim to bring this experience to a larger community outside the Science Centre, not only to people having visited it. We will think of a way to create an extension of the Living Lab outside the Science Centre (nature of activities, online/offline, place, partners, communication, communities…).
  During both moments, we will strive to think like a visitor or a potential participant willing to contribute.


Workshop Facilitators