Laurea is an active member of the European Network of Living Labs.
Dr. Tuija Hirvikoski was appointed president of ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) this summer. ENoLL i.e. the European Network of Living Labs is a global network of open innovation ecosystems (Living Lab). The network of Living Labs places people at the centre of product development and innovation. The network provides innovation services for small and medium-sized international companies, the public sector, organisations and citizens. ENoLL promotes the development of business and industry and the creation of tax revenue and jobs.
ENoLL has approved nearly 400 Living Labs from around the world maintained by municipalities, universities, regions and companies as its development and piloting partners. Of these, 170 make up the core for piloting European industry and innovation policy and are involved in in-depth cooperation with regions and the European Commission's Directorates-General.
ENoLL's story began in 2006 during Finland's EU Presidency. At that time, at the proposal of Prime Minister Esko Aho's cabinet open, user-oriented innovation principles were implemented more effectively in the EU's competitiveness and innovation policy. The Commissions' Finnish experts Bror Salmelin and Olavi Luotonen have played a key role in creating the preconditions for the realisation and development of the policy in cooperation with companies, cities and regions. Now ten years later, Carlos Moedas, the commissioner responsible for research, science and innovation emphasises the importance of openness in science policy. From this we can determine that the focus of funding will be shifted further from linear research and innovation activities to open innovation.
Laurea has been a pioneer in the development of open innovation methods and the utilisation of Living Labs. Open innovation, collaborative development and piloting have been a fixed part of Laurea's Learning by Developing (LbD) model. Whereas LbD is an interface for the realisation of curricula, Living Labs are our innovation platform or interface with public administration, companies and the third sector.
The majority of Laurea's RDI activities and teaching projects are examples of Living Lab activities. Health Booster, Smart Hospital, Rose, Yhdessä terveempi Uusimaa and the Suurpelto Living Lab are examples of Uusimaa-based projects. Product development has been a collaborative effort with European end users and researchers, as well as the public sector and companies in many projects such as WeLive, E2C and COM’ON, from their launch.
"In addition to this, we have a group of world class researchers. Katri Ojasalo and Jukka Ojasalo are internationally acclaimed researchers of service business, and Seppo Leminen is one of the most referenced Living Lab researchers worldwide," Dr Hirvikoski continues.