To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the living labs movement, the TIM Review has published a collection of the best 17 articles on living labs in a new ebook. The book was edited by Mika Westerlund (Carleton University) and Seppo Leminen (Laurea University of Applied Sciences). The foreword has been contributed by Bror Salmelin, Advisor on Innovation Systems to the European Commission. The book is available on Amazon at amzn.to/1T7obql.
A living lab is physical or virtual space, in which stakeholders (companies, public institutions, universities, and users) collaborate on creating, prototyping, validating, and testing new technologies, products, and services in a real-life context. Living labs have been proposed to catalyze regional systems of innovation, strengthen the innovation capacity of organizations, make innovation processes more effective, cut innovation costs, reduce market-based risk, and enhance the development of sustainable solutions. Living labs can be seen as the latest stage on a continuum of forms of open and user innovation.
The concept of living labs has kept evolving and has become accepted by more and more practitioners and researchers. The number of living lab experiments that have emerged in recent years is substantial and continues to rise – there are now over 340 living labs in the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) in Europe and worldwide. This is hardly a surprise, because ad-hoc types of user-driven and user-centered activities are increasingly seen as important for companies and public organizations globally as a way to generate innovative improvements and novel solutions to real-world problems.