CreaLab – Network of Creative Living Labs


Catarina Selada, Head of Cities Department

INTELI – Inteligência em Inovação, Centro de Inovação

Av. Conselheiro Fernando de Sousa, n 11, 5º

1070-072 Lisboa - Portugal

Tel. + 351 21 711 22 10


Crealab – Network of Creative Living Labs in the South-Western Europe has the objective of promoting the development of new products, services, technologies and businesses in the interaction between creative industries and traditional sectors of the economy, through a living lab environment. Enhancing cross-sectorial collaborations and creative spillovers is the final aim of the network, with a view to stimulate the economic, social and cultural development of the involved regions. Moreover, the ambition is to promote the SUDOE region as a territory of experimentation of innovative solutions in a real-life context, creating an environment that nurtures co-creation processes oriented by a user-centric approach and involving the relevant stakeholders. 

This network aims to promote the share of information, methodologies and good practices, and to transfer technology and develop joint projects with companies, entrepreneurs and stakeholders of different regions. In fact, according to Feurstein et al. (2012) “beyond the implementation of individual living labs, a networked approach to the concept offers a number of significant benefits”. The network facilitates the extension of the multi-contextual sphere in which innovation services are offered, comprising different regional attributes, languages, cultural particularities and sectorial specialisations. Moreover, double investments into similar infrastructures can be avoided.

The unique characteristics of this living lab are:

- Creative spillovers: The living labs network is focused on creative spillovers, i.e. on the cooperation between companies of the creative sector and companies of traditional industries, with the involvement of other regional players and users. Creative industries provide innovation and creative inputs to traditional sectors of the economy, enhancing the development of cities and regions.

- Network approach: Crealab is a network of living labs (a networked living lab) and not an isolated living lab. This represents an added-value because besides the operation of each local living lab, the interaction among the network partners’ is also happening under a living lab methodology and environment. By offering a broader base for co-creation and market analysis activities, customers are guaranteed better, more differentiated and more comparable feedback.

References and Track Record 

Crealab - Network of Creative Living Labs is composed of regional/local living labs located in different regions – Centre – Penela (Portugal), Andalusia - Seville (Spain), Cataluña - Barcelona (Spain), Extremadura - Caceres (Spain) and Poitou-Charentes - Angouleme (France). The regional/local living labs are supported by basic facilities and infrastructures for creation, testing, exhibition and prototyping, such as incubators, fab labs or co-working spaces and also by social networks and other digital platforms that connect all the stakeholders during de process.