Theoretical & methodological challenges papers


Dr. Dimitri Schuurman & Prof. Dr. Wendy Van den Broeck

Submissions to this track deal with (innovation) theories and methodologies that can help Living Lab research and practice. This encompasses cases and research on Living Lab theory and practice, as well as looking into established innovation theory and methodology in relation with Living Labs.

Open Innovation Business Models : the example of living labs in France

by Ingrid Fasshauer

Category:  Full Research Paper


  • Living Lab
  • Open Innovation
  • Business Model
  • Value sharing

Abstract. Livings labs, emerging forms of collaborative innovation including users in their real-life context, are more and more numerous in France. Even if part of them is organized in a network, they are very diverse in terms of portage, legal structure and above all business model. The latter is all the more crucial since Schuurman (2015) notes a mortality rate of 40% on living labs labeled by the largest network of living labs, European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL). A large number of living labs thus have an unwanted temporary nature (Leminen et al., 2012). Based on a questionnaire, it highlights that three forms of value are generated by the living labs studied: knowledge creation, social impact and economic value. Revenues can be exclusively public, exclusively private or mixed. As for the sharing of value, it is a concern for several living labs which respond by ensuring the dissemination of their innovations to a wide audience. Only research-oriented laboratories have intellectual property protection practices. By taking these three dimensions into account, we propose a typology
distinguishing between four categories of living labs.

Facilitation and facilitator roles in lab-driven innovation process in experience-based tourism

by Yati Yati

Category:  Research-in-progress


  • experience-based tourism
  • lab-driven innovation
  • innovation facilitators
  • innovation intermediaries
  • innovation labs
  • living labs

Abstract. This study aims to contribute to the knowledge of lab-driven innovation by exploring the facilitation and facilitator roles of labs in experience-based tourism. The preliminary findings of this qualitative case study show that labs may have the potential to stimulate innovation in experience-based tourism firms. Also, the facilitator roles of the labs in tourism are similar to the roles of innovation intermediaries in other sectors. Moreover, the study tentatively concludes that engagement and active involvement of the participants is important in the facilitation of the labs.

Methodology for Establishing a Living Lab from Experiences in Japan

by Keiichi Kitazume, Mari Takaku, Mio Nishiyama

Category:  Research-in-progress


  • Living Labs in Japan
  • customization
  • residents’ association
  • toolkit

Abstract.The purpose of this study is to clarify which method is suitable for the features of Japan, especially when starting a LL activity with a specific topic in a certain area. The viewpoints are put together, utilization of the residents’ association, engagement between citizens and their local government and creating a place for active discussions. By researching Japanese experiences from these viewpoints, a careful relationship between residents and the operating organization and a management method removing the stereotype about residents are suggested as the key points to success.

Multi-stakeholder innovation ecosystem orchestration

by Tuija Hirvikovski, Kaisla Saastamoinen

Category:  Research-in-progress


  • multi-stakeholder innovation co-creation
  • orchestration
  • innovation ecosystems
  • living labs
  • hindering and facilitating

Abstract. Despite the use of Living Labs continuing to spread further with the increase of global complex challenges, the question of how the multi-stakeholder collaborative innovation has been governed and orchestrated within multifaceted innovation ecosystems has remained unanswered. In this paper, orchestration refers to such purposeful actions as governance, facilitation, mediation, interpretation, or brokering used to enhance multi-stakeholder innovation co-creation, particularly when aiming to solve wicked problems while
guaranteeing the system’s resilience and economic vitality. Orchestration helps innovation ecosystems to
reach their common goals and their members to create and capture value. This paper introduces a method
used to research the role of orchestration in multi-stakeholder innovation. The first findings on what has
facilitated and hindered the fairly large, mature and successful innovation ecosystems with regards to
achieving their goals underline the significance of the informal side of innovation activities as opposed to
formal governance models and actions often highlighted in the literature and policy documents.
Additionally, from the methodological point of view, it was learned that based solely on publicly available
information on the innovation ecosystems, most of the first findings would not have been uncovered.
Instead, thematic interviews where the interviewees could freely reflect on the research questions enabled
these findings to be unearthed. The restricted case findings cannot be generalised, therefore further
research is needed.

Observational study on cross-cultural differences in living lab research: protocol & pilot

by N. De Witte, I Adriaensen, L. Broeckx

Category:  Research-in-progress


  • Cross-border research
  • group dynamics
  • recruitment
  • living labs
  • individual differences


When a new service or product is introduced, local context always has to be taken into consideration, as requirements and preferences might vary across regions. Similarly, the concrete set-up of living lab research might vary depending on where and with whom it takes place. Previous research suggests that cultural characteristics and individual differences in behaviour could influence data collection and be confounding variables for study outcomes of international living lab research. However, this research is predominantly based on indirect reports. The current study aims to collect data on actual participation and contribution in international user-centred research and explore its relation to individual characteristics and geographical region. Participating living labs are asked to perform observations of living lab sessions and invite participants to complete an end-user
questionnaire. A Belgian pilot shows that the protocol is feasible and can detect relevant differences in contribution based on age and professional status. Further recruitment has been hampered by the
COVID-19 pandemic but will continue when guidelines permit the organisation of group sessions. The
current study can increase awareness of cross-cultural differences in living lab research. It will allow
participating living labs and the broader living lab community to optimize national and international research protocols so that they uphold good standardisation and reproducibility but also entail sufficient flexibility to account for cross-cultural differences.

Analysis of a program solving a local issues in collaboration with technology companies: a case study of the SUNABA as a living lab in Shiojiri

by Masataka Mori, Takashi Yamada

Category: Practitioners Presentation


  • Problem solving
  • Design research, Traditional industry
  • Co-creation
  • Prototyping, Japan

Abstract. This paper uses the efforts of the Snubbing Lab in Shiojiri as a case study to examine a program that
collaborated with a technology company to solve local problems. In a closed community, we believe that the Living Lab method provides great value in creating the future by extracting the essential local issues and working with outside companies to solve them in the direction the community is aiming. This time, we analyze the case of
working with Toshiba to solve problems in the wine industry and to promote the appeal of the city. While the
Living Labs efforts are gradually spreading in Japan, this effort is noteworthy in that it reached prototyping. It will
be presented as a concrete prototype of a solution to a local problem using the living lab method in a regional
context different from that of Europe.