Laurea Living Labs
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.