<img alt="laurea living lab" src="/en/update/RDIimages/Top%20banners/Living-lab-laurea.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />

Living labs as Laurea's strategic choice

Laurea's strategic choice is to integrate its three tasks: education, R&D and regional development. Laurea Living Labs Network serves the integration of the three tasks in the optimal way. Living labs are user-centred open innovation ecosystems integrating research and innovation research in real life communities and settings. Laurea Living Labs Network collaborate with research institutions, companies, public agencies, citizens, and users for investigating and creating new products and services. Living labs enable facing economic and social challenges with novel technological opportunities and professional practices and speed up competitive business and value creation models for the national and global markets.

Laurea is strengthening its role as an intermediary at the regional, national and international levels by developing networks and culture of innovation, and sharing platforms, methodologies and evidence-based knowledge. Laurea has been an active member of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) since its establishment in 2006. ENoLL was created under the auspices of the Finnish European Presidency and is supported by the EU. It involves over 170 benchmarked living labs around the world.

According to its strategic choice, Laurea gathers different actors and stakeholders to accelerate innovation activities through mutual sharing and learning. CIDe Cluster Finland is a business cluster developing new technologies and services and renewing processes and structures in the social and health care sector.

Living labs as real-life environments

Laurea employs many kinds of real-life environments as living labs. Authentic contexts stimulate creativity and multi-level learning as well as reveal complex connections between technological, social and economic challenges. They boost practice-based innovation and the rapid testing of ideas and prototypes. Knowledge is created through multi-voiced dialogue that supports learning in individuals, organisations and regions. Living labs engage students in solving authentic problems and developing client-empowering practices, as well as fostering new competences related to innovation and co-creation. Collaborative learning is essential for developing innovation ecosystems.

Laurea's seven campuses provide permanent development environments. As an example, BarLaurea is a concept of student-driven catering services having 1000 daily customers at Leppävaara campus.

Hospitals, libraries, urban districts and regions are examples of living lab environments outside Laurea's premises. The project Smart hospital created a functional environment for developing technology-based innovations for health care and wellbeing in hospitals and care units of Vantaa Hospital Services.

Laurea_living_lab_at_ Entresse shopping mall at Espoo Centre and Info Pavilion  Entresse shopping mall at Espoo Centre and Info Pavilion at Suurpelto have served as living lab environments in many projects.

Living lab as R&D&I approach

Laurea Living labs take multidisciplinary approach because of the complexity of problems they aim to tackle. Development work is based on the iterative process utilizing different forms of knowledge to generate even radical innovations. Recent living lab projects involve the fields of service business, entrepreneurship, security management, social and health care, and urban development. They advance participatory approaches and methodologies, such as action research, service design, and various user-centered methods. Projects utilize updated knowledge derived from current research and previous projects.

Laurea living labs are based on the principle of open innovation and collaboration of different stakeholders sharing and integrating their ideas, knowledge and resources. Stakeholders usually have complementary interests and actor roles. Companies develop new products and services, whereas public organisations act as enablers allowing resources to enhance their goals and political agendas. Research organisations are responsible for knowledge augmentation and provide their expertise and innovation methods available to others. Users represent ordinary people, citizens and consumers who co-develop new products and services in their everyday lives. 

Co-creation workshops at Espoo centre in spring 2015 

Co-creation workshops at Espoo centre in spring 2015.

Examples of recent projects

Caring and Sharing Networks

Caring and Sharing Networks (Välittävät Valittavat Verkostot) was a project enhancing residents' participation and stakeholder collaboration in urban development funded by Ministry of Environment in Finland (2013-2015). The project took place in one of the city districts, Espoo Centre with 17 000 inhabitants. Participatory action approach was applied to empower citizens and stakeholders to solve complex problems in the suburban area. For further details, see Participatory_Action_Research_as_a_practice_of_empowerment by the project researchers Soile Juujärvi and Virpi Lund.

The project experimented novel means for co-creation in urban development, including Residents' Workshops and Community Workshops, involving almost 100 active stakeholders and citizens. Community Workshops was based on the method of Change Laboratory and expansive learning, invoking enthusiasm about the shared goals and helping to find each actor roles in community development. Listen to stakeholders' feedback and reflections on Community Workshops


One of the initiatives in Espoo Centre was to establish a local community house for residents. Ideas were gathered from people at local events through service design methods and further processed at the workshops. For results, see a video by student Eila Ryynänen-McEwan and her thesis Envisioning and Co-designing the Best Space for Espoo Centre's Community House


Robots and the Future of Welfare Services (ROSE)

In post-industrial societies the demand for welfare and health services is strongly growing and they cover the majority of public expenditure. Service robots are believed to have great potential for the area, increasing productivity and enabling quality improvements and new business through novel services. Laurea is one of the partners in the ROSE consortium (2015–2020), funded by the Academy of Finland, focusing on multidisciplinary study on how advances in service robotics enable innovations and renewal of welfare services, when such services are developed ethically and jointly with stakeholders. The development is studied on individual, institutional and societal levels, taking into account user needs, ethical issues, technological maturity, and the health care service system.

Laurea team brings in the project its expertise on health care and welfare services and living lab methodology in developing a robotic support ecosystem. In the municipality of Sipoo, Laurea focuses on identifying those daily activities of elderly people in which robotic support could be useful, developing robotic support with and for users, and studying the possibilities how to renew social and health care services, involving all stakeholders. In Sipoo Living Lab, home care practices are developed and care robots are tested. Individual homes as well as care homes will be used as living lab environments. They will be selected together with home care professionals, elderly people and their significant others.


ROSE workshop in Sipoo.


WeLive is an EU H2020 funded project, addressing ICT-enabled open government – INSO1 topic, about a new concept of public administration based on citizen co-created mobile urban services. The project is conceived to transform the current approach towards e-government by providing a new open model oriented towards the design, production and deployment of digital public services based on the collaboration of a quadruple helix, including research organisations, companies, public administrations and citizens. Moreover, the project aims to make extensive use of service design methods, which enable different actors to participate in collaborative process.

WeLive will provide a novel We-Government ecosystem of tools (Live) built on the Open Data, Open Services and Open Innovation paradigms that is easily deployable in different public administrations. It promotes co-creation of personalized public services through public-private partnership and the empowerment of all the stakeholders to actively take part in the value-chain of a municipality or a territory.

Two pilots, based on the living lab concept, will be conducted in order to seek involvement of the real users in real usage environments. The pilot areas are Helsinki region, Bilbao, Trento and Novi Sad. The test plan will define how the citizens and other stakeholders participate in urban services co-creation, framework usage and analysing the results of the pilots.

More info:


Laurea UAS held a seminar introducing new public digital concepts for representatives of cities in May 2016.

Publications on living labs

Juujärvi, S. & Pesso, K. (2012). Ihmiset tekevät Suurpellon. Koulii-hankkeen arviointitutkimus [People make Suurpelto. Evaluation study of the project Koulii].Laurea Publications 11. Vantaa, Finland. Ihmiset tekevät Suurpellon

Juujärvi, S., & Pesso, K. (2013). Actor Roles in an Urban Living Lab: What Can We Learn from Suurpelto, Finland? Technology Innovation Management Review 3(11), 22–27.

Juujärvi, S. & Lund, V. (2016). Enhancing Early Innovation in an Urban Living Lab: Lessons from Espoo, Finland. Technology Innovation Management Review 6(1), 7–26.

Kantola, T. & Hirvikoski, T. (2012). Living Lab monitasoisena oppimisympäristönä [Living Lab as a multilevel learning environment]. In K. Mäki & H. Kotila (Eds.). Ammattikorkeakoulupedagogiikka 2, 35–52. Helsinki: Edita,

Lassila, S. & Rantanen, T (Eds.) (2012). Käyttäjälähtöisyyttä oppimimassa. SYMBIO Living Lab –hankkeen kokemuksia käyttäjälähtöisestä tapahtumatuotannosta [Learning user-centredness. Experiences from SYMBIO Living Lab project] HAAGA-HELIAn julkaisusarja. Kehittämisraportteja 1/2012. Helsinki, Finland. kayttajalahtoisyyttaoppimassa.pdf

Lehto, P. & Leskelä, J. (Eds.) (2011). Interactive CaringTV® and userdriven eServices. The Safe Home Project: Final Report. Laurea  Publications B45. Vantaa, Fnland.

Leminen, S. (2015). Living Labs as Open Innovation Networks - Networks, Roles, and Innovation Outcomes. Doctoral dissertation. Helsinki, Finland: Aalto University. Living Labs as Open Innovation Networks

Leminen, S. (Ed.) (2011). Co-creation with Users and Customers in Living Labs Integrating Users and Customers in Companies' Business Processes. Laurea Publications A76.Vantaa, Finland.

Leminen, S. (2013). Coordination and Participation in Living Lab Networks. Technology Innovation Management Review 3(11), 5–14.

Leminen, S., Nyström, A.-G. & Westerlund, M. (2015). A typology of creative consumers in living labs. Journal of Engineering and Technology Management 37(July–September), 6–20.

Leminen, S. & Westerlund, M. (2012) Towards Innovation in Living Labs Network, International Journal of Product Development 17(1/2):43-59.

Leminen, S., Westerlund, M. & Nyström, A.-G. (2014). On Becoming Creative Consumers – User Roles in Living Labs Networks, International Journal of Technology Marketing 9(1), 33–52.

Leminen, S., Westerlund, M., & Nyström, A.-G. (2012). Living Labs as Open-Innovation Networks. Technology Innovation Management Review 2(9): 6–11.

Luojus, S. (2010). From a Momentary Experience to a Lasting One. The Concept of and Research on Expanded User Experience of Mobile Devices. Doctoral Dissertation. University of Oulu, Finland.

Luojus, S. & Vilkki, O. (2013). User-Centered Research Methods as the Starting Point for Living Lab Activities in Higher Education. The International HETL Review. Special Issue 2013, 14–27.

Ronkainen, K. & Silvennoinen, P. (Eds.). (2015). Toimiva sairaala Living Lab. [Smart Hospital Living Lab] Laurea Publications 47. Vantaa, Finland. Toimiva sairaala.pdf

Ryhänen F. & Lehto P. 2014 (eds.) Introducing health and wellbeing technologies. Final report of the mHealth booster project, 17/12/2014. mHealthbooster.pdf



Become a Partner<img alt="become a Laurea partner" src="/en/update/RDIimages/Image%20link%20images/kl_contact_details.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Become a PartnerInterested in working with us? <a href="/en/research-development-and-innovations/become-a-partner" title="Information about becoming Laurea partners">become-a-partner</a>

 News voted third most popular Living Lab<img alt="" src="/update/Laureankuvat/Tiedotekuvat/Seniori365%20OLLD18.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /> voted third most popular Living Lab
Workshop: students as peacebuilders<img alt="" src="/update/Laureankuvat/Tiedotekuvat/Kriisinhallinta%20NYT%20tyopaja%20opiskelijat%20Laurea%20FINCENT%20IECEU.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />Workshop: students as peacebuilders
A student story: “Working with Pepper the Robot is fun every day”<img alt="" src="/update/Laureankuvat/Tiedotekuvat/Opiskelijatarina%20Linh%20BIT%20degree%20Laurea%20Pepper.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />A student story: “Working with Pepper the Robot is fun every day”