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Transferring Research and Innovation Living Lab (TRAIL): experience of a living lab

Martin, Suzanne, Galbraith, Brendan, Wallace, Jonathan and Mulvenna, Maurice (2010) Transferring Research and Innovation Living Lab (TRAIL): experience of a living lab. In: 7th World Conference on Gerontechnology, Vancouver Canada. ISG Eindhoven. Vol 9 (2) 1 pp. [Conference contribution]

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In 2006, the Finnish EU Presidency launched a new public-private-partnership (PPP) innovation model called the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL). There are currently over 100 labs accounting for a network of more than 70 million-end users that connect the capabilities of local prototyping-grounds with a critical mass to attract investments (Annerstedt and Haselmayer, 2006). The University of Ulster is making a significant contribution to the living lab concept through its TRAIL initiative. TRAIL represents a developing Public-Private Partnership (PPP) where companies, public authorities and communities work together creating, prototyping, validating and testing new services, businesses, markets and technologies in real-life contexts in the regions, rural areas and virtual spaces between public and private players in the region of the North of Ireland. It is our strategic intention to collaborate further with our existing international networks and to integrate fully our activities with ENOLL members and other international clusters.Methods:This paper presents two case studies of research projects adopting the living lab approach of user-driven innovation, where empirical research suggests that user-driven innovations are more fruitful as a major source of innovation (von Hippel, 1988). Specifically this work engages with older people as the co-creators of innovation close to market, central to the research and innovation of devices and services to address their specific needs. NOCTURNAL is a project with a focus on the night-time needs of people with early stage dementia exploring if technology can be used as a therapeutic intervention building on the telecare risk management platform. A second project will be presented “myHealth@age” which explores the specific needs of healthy older people living in isolated rural communities. Both research projects have developed consortiums including older people, academia, public sector healthcare providers and industry.Results and Discussion:Delivering user-driven innovation in practice within TRAIL is rewarding and challenging, this paper will focus on some of the emerging issues within the lab. There is a significant body of academic research that supports the premise that user-driven innovation creates value in markets and for society. The network of living labs in Europe has been created, partly based upon this premise, but it can be argued that there is a lack of evidence that demonstrates how such living labs articulate their value proposition, and how they carry out activities on the ground to work with users to create the added valued inherent in early innovation processes. The issues of working with vulnerable users; managing the tension between users needs and advancing the research agenda and balancing this with the desires of the industrial partners will be considered within this presentation.

Item Type:Conference contribution (Paper)
Keywords:living labs, user engagement, open innovation
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Computing & Engineering
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences
Ulster Business School
Faculty of Life and Health Sciences > School of Health Sciences
Research Institutes and Groups:Institute of Nursing and Health Research > Centre for Health and Rehabilitation Technologies
Business and Management Research Institute
ID Code:14230
Deposited By: Professor Suzanne Martin
Deposited On:15 Jun 2010 07:48
Last Modified:28 Feb 2012 12:12

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