Doctoral Consortium Papers

Prof. Anna Stålbröst – Luleå University of Technology 
Dr. Brigitte Trousse – Inria, University Côte d’Azur

This track provides an opportunity for doctoral students to explore and develop their research interests in an interdisciplinary workshop, under the guidance of a panel of distinguished researchers. Extended abstracts will be discussed by PhD students during the session and relevant feedback for improvement and further development of their research will be provided.

Barriers for Test and Adoption of Digital Innovations by End-users in a Living Lab Context

by Abdolrasoul Habibipour

Author keywords:    

  • User engagement
  • Barriers
  • Drop-out
  • Living Lab
  • Field test
  • Adoption
  • Innovation

Abstract: In recent years, Living Labs have become a well-established innovation approach where individual users and other stakeholders are involved to co-create, test and evaluate digital innovations in open, collaborative, multi-contextual and real-world settings. Despite this, in order for digital innovation to be tested and successfully adopted by end-users, different barriers should be understood and clearly addressed particularly in a Living Lab setting that the participation is usually voluntary and end-users are involved with testing and using digital technology in their real-life everyday use context. These barriers can be related not only to the process of engaging users to test the digital innovations, but also can be related to the innovation itself. Accordingly, the aim of this PhD thesis is to understand the barriers for digital innovations to be tested and adopted by end-users in a Living Lab context. In so doing, a qualitative research approach has been used and several data collection methods have been employed to fulfill the objective of this study. Conducting extensive literature reviews (focusing on both barriers for user engagement as well as adoption barriers) have been used as the secondary data source. As for the primary data collection methods, conducting a field test in a Living Lab context, semi-structured interviews with Living experts as well as professionals in different digital innovation application domains, interviewing end-users of digital technologies and finally open-ended questionnaire have been employed. So far, a taxonomy of influential factors on participants’ drop-out behavior in Living Lab field test has been developed and initial list of adoption barriers for digital innovation has been identified. In addition, the consequences of drop-out in Living Lab field tests and recommendations that would facilitate prolonged user engagement have been developed. An initial set of recommendations on how the adoption barriers should be tackled has been developed. This study will also summarize the key lessons learned from the conducted field tests, workshops, interviews with a number of end-users and experts in Living Lab and digital innovations field and opens up several avenues for future research in this field.


Abdolrasoul Habibipour

PhD In Information Systems

Beyond participation: exploring citizen stakeholder empowerment in the co-creation of innovation

by Shelly Tsui


  • Co-creation
  • Stakeholder empowerment
  • Living lab
  • Urban energy
  • Public engagement

Abstract: Co-creation faces a number of challenges, mainly in that it does not provide a clear idea of what is empowerment, and how it is enacted through co-creation. This is especially pertinent when collaborating with citizens as without being aware of the issues that come with engaging them, co-creation runs the risk of turning into mere participation i.e., an “empty ritual of participation and having [no] real power needed to affect the outcome of the process (Arnstein, 1969), for example. This could lead to disenchantment in such initiatives, and discourage future participation. If the hope for co-creation is to realize the ideal vision of public engagement by the Commission, and more generally the potential for co-creation to better align innovation and societal interests, then there is a need to conceptualize a form of co-creation that empowers its stakeholders. In the context of involving citizens, this insight is important as co-creation practices reflect ideas of engagement. This in turn can shape participation in not just co-creation projects but broader debates on science, technology, and innovation.


Can Open Innovation offer a new perspectives for development of ecosystemic business models?

by Julia Nevmerzhitskaya

Author keywords:    

  • Open innovation
  • Ecosystemic business models
  • Business model development
  • Innovation ecosystem

Abstract. This paper describes initial considerations in a dissertation research on how to co-create ecosystemic business models based on shared resources and value in an open innovation. There are two main research areas that address the topic of ecosystemic business models: open innovation and innovation management, in respect of innovation ecosystems, and business model development, in respect of business ecosystems. This research will be an attempt to bring two areas together by using multi-stakeholder perspective as the bridge between the two. The proposed approach is to use service design as a methodological choice for multi-stakeholder business model development as a core of open innovation.


The Roles, Functioning and Culture of Urban Innomediaries

by Jimmy Paquet-Cormier

Author keywords:    

  • Collaborative Urban Innovation
  • Urban Innovation
  • Urban Innomediaries
  • City Innovation
  • Collaborative Innovation
  • Urban Transitions
  • Urban Systems
  • Innovation Management
  • Change Management
  • Flexibility
  • Adaptability

Abstract: Urban innomediaries (UI) are orchestrating the collaborative urban innovation transition. In Europe, they aim 1) to support public organisations in their environmental and digital transitions, 2) to orchestrate the market of urban innovation and 3) to foster collaboration between public-private-third-academia-civil actors. In order to study their systemic functions and their governance and management practices, seven European organisations were analysed (four main cases and three partial cases) using a combination qualitative and quantitative questionnaire, interviews, ethnographic and autoetnographic methods. The cases were selected for their reputation as a leader in their network and to maximise the heterogeneity of the cases. Preliminary results propose six dominant management models: the activist, the agile start-up, the territorial strategist, the representative and coach, the national model and the urban labs. In terms of organisational culture and climate, UI are perceived by their employees as a dynamic and playful working environment where they work hard on stimulating projects often without receiving a fair compensation for their work. By reducing its financial dependency on the public sector, the one has demonstrated that scaling up is not always the most viable option in order to diversify funding. Moreover, results show that UI have designed and implemented different types of management practices that combines bottom-up and top-down dynamics in order to adapt to an ever-changing environment. Finally, the research recognises the importance for UI to improve their capabilities regarding organisational learning, impact assessment and knowledge and competences management.


Urban Living Labs as a smart city approach: how does socio-technical innovation transform urban development?

by Hui Lyu


  • Smart city
  • Urban Living Lab
  • Socio-technical innovation
  • Urban transition

Abstract: Under the demand of urban sustainable development, the smart city movement has been on stage for more than a decade, with its concept changing and evolving during the time, from a technology- centred model to a more balanced social and technological strategy. Meanwhile, Urban Living Labs (ULLs) came up in recent years as an approach that uses emerging technologies to cope with urban challenges. Nowadays, ULLs often have a focus on citizen participation and social value creation. The linkage between these two concepts are noticed but not clearly elaborated. This paper argued that ULLs could contribute to the smart city strategy, but there is a lack of investigation on how ULLs’ approach is linked to the socio-technical innovation process in the smart cities. Aiming to explore the nature linkage between these two concepts, this paper tries to raise an analytical model based on literature review and Delphi method survey data from ULLs experts. It is expected that key indicators could be identified to evaluate the socio-technical innovation approach of ULLs, as well as the smart city transition process driven by ULLs.