Navigating Negotiations in Starting Up and Supporting Living Labs
Ferdoos Esrail – TU Delft. Netherlands
Steven Flipse – TU Delft Netherlands
Maarten Van Der Sanden – TU Delft Netherlands
There is a policy call for widening participation of stakeholders in research and innovation to realise more collaborative research and innovation practices, particularly in terms of inclusion of end users and/or citizens. Part of the rationale for this lies in the prospect of the realisation of higher quality research, which is better in tune with societal demands, and economically more viable innovations.
As part of the European research and innovation policy agenda, EIT Health has launched various funding schemes to support the initiation, development and support of Living Labs (LLs). LLs are seen as promising instruments for achieving co-creative solutions for (complex) societal problems, thereby transforming the relationship between science/technology and society. Moreover, they present a new perspective for science communication, which is going deeper than public outreach or involvement: mutual engagement between the ‘general public’ and scientists from the very beginning of an innovation process.
In practice, we observe various kinds of LLs, ranging from (open) test beds for validation of (industrial) innovation to more open academic workplaces for ideation and knowledge co-creation. They also range from virtual LLs without any physical manifestations, to real-life settings in urban neighbourhoods for smart city solutions. While the motives to participate in LLs types of collaboration may seem evident (e.g. citizens who acquire better care through participation in the innovation process in medical technology), in reality actors struggle with, among other things, issues around money, intellectual property, personal/organisational commitment, enthusiasm and responsibilities.
In this presentation we will share insights from a case study revolving around the EIT Health Living Labs and Test Beds project. We will also discuss their relevance for the science communication community, focusing on transformations of science-society relations and the challenges related to realizing ‘research for all’.
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