Unpacking European Living Labs: Analysing Innovation’s Social Dimensions
In: Müller, Karel; Roth, Steffen; Zak, Milan (eds.): Social Dimension of Innovation, Prag; Linde. 2010
40 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2014 Last revised: 25 Mar 2016
Date Written: October 29, 2010
Since their official launch in 2006, over one hundred Living Labs have been established and networked to tackle Europe’s declining economic competitiveness and societal challenges. The innovative potential of Living Labs is based on new social configurations for organising innovation. Applying a framework that focuses on barriers presented by such social configurations, by motivational factors and by cognitive/background asymmetries, our paper analyses the contributions and impediments to innovation, and the dilemmas that may arise when innovating in Living Labs. The first contribution of the paper is to demonstrate the framework’s analytical power to uncover and articulate contributions and challenges inherent to the social dimension of innovation. The second contribution of this explorative study is to pinpoint and examine a number of contributions of and challenges for Living Labs. On the basis of a literature re- view, we untangle and describe the three main facets of the concept: in vivo experimentation on social systems, innovation and product development approaches involving users, or innovation systems. We conclude by gathering crucial questions facing contemporary Living Labs.
Keywords: Living Labs; innovation; collaboration and communication barriers
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