What are Living Labs

Living Labs (LLs) are defined as user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on systematic user co-creation approach,
integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings. 

LLs are both practice-driven organisations that facilitate and foster open, collaborative innovation, as well as real-life environments or
arenas where both open innovation and user innovation processes can be studied and subject to experiments and where new solutions are developed. 

LLs operate as intermediaries among citizens, research organisations, companies, cities and regions for joint value co-creation,
rapid prototyping or validation to scale up innovation and businesses. LLs have common elements but multiple different implementations. 


Image: Common elements in Living Labs 

You can read more about Living Labs and ENoLL by clicking on the following publication: 

Introducing ENoLL Publication















Currently represented thematical areas represented by active ENoLL Members:


Health and wellbeing: Through the user engagement methodologies and tools the aim is to deliver better health care to the ageing population, furthermore products and services validated in real life scenarios by the key user groups. The innovative holistic solutions address social and emotional goals enhancing the quality of life and wellbeing of the ageing population and enable independent living for longer. Main focus areas of the thematic area:

  • 1) Active participation in Ambient and Assistive Living Programmes,
  • 2) Working on Innovative, socio-technical systems and design solutions for health and wellbeing, 
  • 3) Pilot and interaction driven new Active and Healthy Aging products and services, 
  • 4) User driven innovation and evidence-based research in the AHA domain, 
  • 5) Collaborations with nursing homes, daily care centres, elderly homes and 
  • 6) Active user validation of wearables on the health domain.

Smart cities & Regions: Having a strong commitment towards its citizens to enhance the quality of life, by mobilising the creative power of triple/quadruple helix parties and citizens/end users all together. Opening up the cities and regions themselves as a real-life testing ground for products and services with an added value that meet the needs of the citizens. Main focus areas of the thematic area:

  • 1) Enabling and boosting the Urban Agenda, using citizen driven innovation processes,
  • 2) Focus on the Smart Specialisation Strategies between European Regions in order to enable necessary transformation to make cities smarter and more sustainable, 
  • 3) Strong collaboration with public bodies, bottom up and grassroot movements.

Culture & creativity: Overcoming societal challenges by using citizen and design driven co-creation processes. Communication and promote the value of Design and Innovation to the European economy. Main focus areas of the thematic area:

  • 1) Co-creation of products and services, by the Designer and Living Lab Expert community, which are so distinct from those that dominate the market and so inevitable that make people passionate, 
  • 2) Design driven market creation, and 
  • 3) New educational technologies and methodologies, such as Practice-based Experiential Learning.

Energy: Local environmental solutions in dense city areas with focus on citizen involvement and multi functional solutions that contributes to a sustainable city development – both nature based and traditional. The idea is to use regional and local demand to develop, demonstrate and deploy new energy and resource efficient solutions to climate and energy. Main focus areas of the thematic area:

  • 1) Focus on energy- and water supply, climate mitigation and adaptation, citizen involvement and behavior and climate adaptation, 
  • 2) Environmental and Sustainable Smart Cities, Smart Grids, 
  • 3) Lighting and smart urban technologies; and 
  • 4) Noise pollution

Mobility: Empower the citizens using different mobility solutions and integrate them into the innovation process, motivating them to participate, putting the right tools in place to enable a bottom-up dialogue, and translating ideas into sustainable commercial products or services. Main focus areas of the thematic area:

  • 1) Develop physical infrastructure and adequate services necessary to help citizens in the region switch from private to public transport, 
  • 2) Validation of shared mobility solutions, especially apps, 
  • 3) Practical cross-border applications in the whole of Europe, 
  • 4) Integration and interoperability of different mobility related service.

Social inclusion: A mix of looking-forward strategy and concrete actions delivered by European Living Labs aiming to:

  • 1) Realise the full potential of youth work, 
  • 2) Promote intercultural awareness and respect (fighting prejudice), especially in the most challenging outskirts of cities, 
  • 3) Offer quality services to all citizens, 
  • 4) Address the issues of homelessness, housing and poverty, 
  • 5) Reduce loneliness of elderly people in cities and 
  • 6) Educate all citizens about their rights.

Social innovation: Many Living Labs deliver innovative, co-created solution to social problem identified in their local territory. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals, is socially inclusive and co-created with local stakeholders in a quadruple helix environment. Living Labs act as ‘brokers’ between citizens and organisations (academia, local government, private companies), ensuring that each participant in a particular project is able to contribute its knowledge and experience.

E-government: ENoLL Living Labs work on a variety of e-government projects to use electronic communications devices, computers and the Internet to provide better public services to citizens and other persons at national, regional and local level. A new study on eGovernment services in the EU reveals that online public services are becoming increasingly accessible across Europe. This is indeed a growing trend in Europe. However, growth is uneven and quite some EU countries are currently lagging behind. Living Labs tackle this issue by proposing e-government initiatives to many lagging-behind territories in Europe and beyond.

Education: Living Labs are places where citizens, artists, technologists, businesses and public sector organisations come together to work on education projects to co-create ideas, tools and technologies that address local educational challenges in kindergartens, schools and universities.