Blockchain, a promising track for Living Labs


Businesses no longer rely on a vertical R&D, isolated and monolithic: open innovation and co-creation have shown that creativity and productivity of R&D benefits from the opening to a wider community.

The blockchain – seen as the next web revolution – allows creative individuals to unite to innovate together while keeping the added value they have created. Initially confined to the field of bitcoin and financial transactions this technology has a potential of disruption in multiple sectors. But beyond business applications, the blockchain gives rise to a new paradigm which allows to completely rethink the approaches of co-creation and open innovation. Innovators will finally be able to regain the value they create! And by generating a healthy coopetition between them, blockchain unleashes creativity and collective intelligence to a more ethical innovation.

The blockchain introduces a new dimension for configuring the exchange of information between individuals and competing companies and thus allows the emergence of new governance models. The profitability of a co-creative approach of projects can then be considered.

Through presentation and discussion about use cases, this workshop illustrates the challenges and opportunities of blockchain applied to co-creation.

Workshop organisers:

Eric Seulliet

Laurent Dupont 

Bringing -and keeping!- all the stakeholders together


Living Labs, as innovation tools in the EU Open Innovation strategy, must be sustainable. But the intrinsic heterogeneity and diversity of a real 4-helix approach, as in the case of Living Labs, does not allow to have a clear recipe about how to govern the project or how to make it sustainable.

The aim of this workshop is to share among the participants their current implementation for sustainability and governance of the living labs, together with well known and documented cases.

All the participants will contribute to a collaborative paper that could be used in the future as a reference tool for current and new living labs.

Identification of different possibilities for a sustainable governance model of a living lab, which could be used as a reference for future living labs or different 4-helix implementations.

Workshop organisers:

Fernando Vilariño is Associate Director of the Computer Vision Centre and Associate Professor of the Univ. Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain. He is currently lecturing in Robotics and Multimedia Systems. His research has been linked to diverse areas of Computer Vision and Machine Learning, with a particular focus on medical imaging. His current research is focused on the development of the link between physical and digital objects, and particularly the design of responsive digital artworks using gaze interaction.

He has recently led different projects related to citizen science through the implementation of a model for Living Labs in the context of Open Innovation, particularly in the Library Living Lab – Barcelona. He has actively participated in the definition of the sustainability and governance models of the Living Lab. He has participated in the different workshops and invited talks in the context of ICT and culture.  Dr. Vilariño has been awarded with the Spanish Gov. Ramon y Cajal Grant (2010), and Google Academy Award (2014) for his research.

Co-creating services for smart cities – models, processes and ecosystems


Smart services are often created by several players and they require a wider ecosystem. The service ecosystem can be further developed during piloting phase together with the different stakeholders linked or engaged in the co-creation of the services. We have learnt that the co-creation events organised in the context of the pilots serve to engage and build a wider ecosystem.  During this workshop, we first explain a strategic model for boosting collaboration between the city and the businesses in the context of healthcare and wellbeing. Then we zoom in to the processes and methods for developing the innovation ecosystem.

The cities in Finland are seeking to act as innovation platforms and enablers of new smart services. The Six Cities Programme, bringing together the biggest cities in Finland (Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa, Turku, Tampere, Oulu) has spearhead projects developing the cities as innovation platforms, Smart Kalasatama being one of them. The collaboration between the cities also helps sharing best practices and innovative models and carrying them out together.

The Programme for agile piloting was developed by Smart Kalasatama Living Lab, a project run by FVH. Agile piloting engages the whole urban community in the creation of smart city services. Each round of agile pilots is built around a theme or a set of challenges looking for new, innovative solutions. The Smart Kalasatama Living Lab team facilitates and supports the pilots to find the right users and the places and networks, to run the agile pilot. The agile piloting has also served as a process to enable the city departments to experiment new services with different stakeholders. The new wellbeing and health care centre of the City of Helsinki is being built to the area, opening in 2018, and the development of the service offering for the new centre is under process.

Workshop organisers:

Maija Bergström, M.Soc.Sc, works as programme coordinator at Forum Virium Helsinki. Maija is responsible for Smart Kalasatama Living lab’s co-operation with residents. She coordinates the living lab activities and develops methods and tools for co-creation. Her facilitation skills help the agile piloting teams to filter the customer feedback as insights to the future services.

Tuija Hirvikoski, PhD, works as a Director at Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Finland). Tuija has been active in the living lab movement since the very beginning. In her PhD, she studied the innovation ecosystems, and she has been involved in developing local, regional, and international living lab activities and open innovation ecosystems for years.

Kaisa Spilling, MSc. (Econ., IDBM) works as a development manager at Forum Virium Helsinki. She is responsible for developing living lab offering and partnerships and is running the Agile piloting program in Smart Kalasatama. She has acted as a consultant for the city for establishing innovation and co-creation activities. Her expertise lies in open innovation, customer experience and business design.

Anne Äyväri, DSc.(Econ.) works as a Principal Lecturer at Laurea University of Applied Sciences (Espoo, Finland). She has acted as a consultant for the cities of Helsinki and Espoo to develop the process model how to manage and execute co-creation and experimentation platform activities, and she has co-authored the handbooks with Tuija Hirvikoski.

Related projects:

Smart Kalasatama,

Conceptualizing Transnational Living Lab model through the lenses of the customer


The TCL allows SMEs to accelerate the introduction of their innovations for these markets in different EU countries, and even beyond. A cross-border collaboration is needed for an efficient approach of these markets. The TCL will be created as a social incubator, involving users to actively participate in the creation, testing and evaluation of innovative solutions in a transnational setting. The already existing living labs of will act as sublabs (local hubs) under the TCL and pool their local assets (knowledge, testpanel, care-ecosystem, facilities). The jointly developed and applied innovation methodology and service menu will include a.o. innovation support for SMEs, panel management support, cocreation methods, validation by real life tests and business development support.

The goal of the workshop is to move forward in setting up a Transnational Living and Care Lab as a unique innovation instrument to support SMEs in developing and scaling up innovations for ‘living and care’ and ‘active and healthy ageing’. This workshop builds on the strong results of the 2016 workshop in Montréal on the same topic. Concrete results coming from this 2016 workshop were: 1) Report on results that will be used to start from in this workshop and 2) Creation of the community of care living labs, that exchanges knowledge in 1 special newsletter / month.

So the basis for the TCL was laid in 2016. This workshop will build on both the results of the 2016 workshop and the experience gained in running a transnational care living lab through recent innovation projects.

Workshop organisers:

Virpi kaartti

Kelly Verheyen

Tom Vandaele

Bianca Ceccarelli

Related projects:



Spinning Pilots project

Duxis: An integrated and contextualized approach for Living Lab practices


Living Labs have a number of key processes with as main goal to research the appropriation of technologies in users’ daily life and to maximize user experience. This workshop introduces a technical and collaborative platform (Duxis) where Living Lab practitioners can work together with future users and other relevant stakeholders to generate during and apply contextualized knowledge in the innovation process. The workshop will focus on the needs and integration of such a platform for Living Lab practitioners and aim to map the requirements of the Living Lab community for such tools.

Methodological innovation First, to research an optimal user experience in a Living Lab environment, it is important to take into consideration the user’s changing needs over all the different customer touch points and contexts in which the solution will be used. A new generation of in-situ and mixed methods is emerging to facilitate this.The challenges that Living Lab practitioners currently meet is the selection of appropriate research methods that will provide insights in those different use contexts.

Panel management innovation When setting up ESM methods for example, panelmanagent is very important but also resource intensive. Whether it is recruiting the right participants, maintaining their motivation or make them comply with the study protocol during the entire duration of the study. And because users are seen as the key actors in the Living Lab process. As users need to engage in reporting and reflective activities, it will be important to manage the users in an appropriate way.

Workshop organisers:

Lynn Coorevits (female) is a senior researcher for imec-mict-UGent and has 9 years of experience in innovation research. In 2013 she joined imec.livinglabs where she worked on several SME Living Lab projects ranging from the financial to social industry. Her current research focuses on the adoption and attrition of wearables as well as optimization of context integration in Living Lab projects. She holds a master in Psychology and a master in Marketing Analysis from Ghent University.

An Jacobs (female) is part-time Assistant professor at iMinds SMIT (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), Belgium. At iMinds she participated in and coordinated various EU and Flemish projects with a focus on digital innovations, human-centred design and Living lab methodology. As methodologist she supports the Care Living Labs Flanders. One of her current research interests is on human robot collaboration, with current and finished projects in hospital, care and manufacturing settings.

Bram Lievens (male), is a senior researcher within the imec.smit research department. Key research activities are focused on smart cities and more specifically on user experience and behavior change. He has a specific expertise in user experience and contextual research by means of a user-centered multi-method toolset. He has been active in numerous national and European projects within this domain. Currently he is working on various projects related to data-driven user-centered (large scale) pilots in the domain of smart cities, such as the City Of Things project. Bram Lievens holds a bachelor degree in social and cultural work and a master degree in communication science. After a brief period of working for various local authorities he joined imec.smit in 2002.

Tanguy Coenen (male) leads imec’s Application Prototyping Team (APT). He has extensive experience in researching, designing and evaluating innovative information systems. For his PhD, completed in 2006, he studied knowledge sharing over social networking system at a time when very few people had heard of social media. After studying this hybrid between knowledge management and social media, he worked on ontologies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s StarLab and on Serious games at PHL (Hasselt, Belgium). In 2009, he moved to iMinds’ iLab.o (now imec Living Labs), where he worked on collaborative business modeling, gameful systems and e-learning systems. His skills include project management, design research, systems architectures, programming and systems evaluations. Tanguy has extensive experience in EU-funded projects (TAS3 (FP7), APOLLON (CIP), EPIC (CIP), SMARTIP (CIP), SPECIFY (CIP), M-RESIST (H2020)).

Evaluation of data collection and data analysis in a transnational healthcare project


LiCalab (Living & Care lab) is one of the care living labs in Flanders, Belgium. In the past 3 years, LiCalab became a leading living lab in the region with the focus on healthcare. LiCalab runs research projects commissioned by universities, university colleges, municipalities and private companies. Through-out the years, LiCalab built a large network of panels and partners. In 2014, LiCalab executed a study on packaging design in five European countries, commissioned by a pharma company. We used the ENoLL network to attract the right living lab partners. The pharma company evaluated the living lab process and the collaboration with LiCalab as very valuable. Therefore, a new assignment followed. In 2016 LiCalab was asked to evaluate the new packaging design in Latin America and Asia. A great opportunity for LiCalab. And also a big challenge. Again, LiCalab used the ENoLL network to find the right partners worldwide. LiCalab was in the lead and designed the scenarios for the co-creation sessions with patients, the expert panels with professionals and the human factor study. Deadlines were tight. All living lab partners were very committed and made a big effort to schedule the sessions within the timing foreseen. All partnering living labs collected data according to the provided research design for comparability of the different data samples.

We had to deal with quite a few challenges. The cultural idiosyncrasies were the biggest challenges to overcome. I n each region the context is different, so it is crucial to understand the local care and business ecosystems. In most countries there was a language barrier, so the living labs had to translate the scenarios to their native languages and the results to English. This lead in some cases to a mutation of information (lost in translation) by different moderators and note takers. Also the technical part presented some challenges: camera, internet speed for sending over recorded data , large memory cards, Furthermore, the tight timeframe forced to go for a more pragmatic approach in regards to data collection and analysis.

In this workshop we want to reflect on the process. We want to share our challenges and evaluate the process. Together with the participants, we want to co-create solutions to collect and analyze qualitative data in a transnational context.

Workshop organisers:

Sonja Pedell

Leen Broeckx

Ana Lavaquial Thais Vieira

Zhengjie Liu

Lillianna Vélez Rueda

Hiroko Akiyama

Carmen Aguero

Going GREEN with active involvement of inhabitants


In the field of participation and quality of public space, the main challenge that Krakow faced during the work on the project ” SMART_KOM strategy – a roadmap for smart solutions in Krakow Metropolitan Area” was related to the necessity of forming and supporting NBSM cross-sectoral cooperation (referring to Science-Business-Residents-Local Government). The cooperation concerns development of the city, a universal application of deliberative participation principles and identification of the potential of the existing public spaces. It is important to provide these activities with real benefits which can be fully used by the local communities, as well as to develop local active centres.

Smart city should be open to its inhabitants, encourage their activity, make use of their creativity, and this is precisely the role of a territorial self-government and its institutions. In that context Smart City or Smart Metropolis is a space of high quality of life, allowing its users everyday functioning in good health condition, within a network of friendly social relationships, with universal and constant sense of security and full access to cultural, educational and social infrastructure.

It should offer a citizen space for satisfactory leisure, through availability of the so-called microparks, possibility of cultivating municipal horticulture or participation in ecological fairs. It is a city which is friendly for its senior citizens and offers them space for residence adjusted to their needs and possibilities.

The main challenges for Krakow (and most big cities) are:

  • Improving the quality of public space, including green zones. It is a joint challenge to transform any city into a living environment friendly for all citizens (no exclusions, good for 8&80) from the perspective of such aspects of the quality of life as access to green zones, quality of water and air.
  • Revitalisation projects understood not only as energy retrofitting but some degraded areas that require complex activities (e.g. in Kraków: Zabłocie, Azory, Prądnik Biały, Olsza). Such places need complex revitalisation, not only in the spatial and urban dimension, but particularly in the social and economic aspects.

Thanks to the creativity of its inhabitants and its strong position as a scientific centre, Kraków constantly implements Smart City solutions and ideas. Together with Helsinki Living Lab we want to share our experinces with you during the local visit and workshop.

Workshop organisers:

Katarzyna Opałka

Barbara Kaźmirowicz

Iwona Kluza-Wąsik

Katarzyna Przyjemska-Grzesik

Agnieszka Włodarczyk

Maja Szpot

Agata Grochal-Kolarska

Related projects:

This workshop is linked to a local challenge at the Open Living Lab Days 2017 event, a visit to the Malopolska Greenery Authority on Wednesday afternoon: