Interview with Living Lab Expert Kelly Verheyen
ENoLL had an opportunity to interview a Living Lab expert Kelly Verheyen who is a Project manager at Thomas More University College and a Coordinator of LiCalab. She has also initiated a newsletter of Health Living Labs expert group which will be published for the first time in February 2017. Next to that, Kelly has been actively participating at the Open Living Lab Days and will hold a workshop at the Next OLLD in Krakow.
We were curious to know more about the Health Newsletter and the workshop that she is planning to organise in August.
Why did you decide to start the health newsletter?
At the ENoLL conference in Montréal (2016) I moderated a workshop on setting up a special interest group on health & wellbeing within ENoLL. With quite a few care living labs in and even beyond Europe we decided on the goal of the special interest group, the activities and the start-up. We decided that a special interest group on health would be very valuable to share knowledge and experience because of the specific challenges that the development and implementation of health innovations brings. Also, the participants were interested to get to know each other better, to be able to set-up future cooperations faster. To set realistic goals, we decided to organise a gathering of care living labs in and beyond Europe at least one time a year, preferably at the ENoLL conference. The second target was to intensify the communication by setting up a newsletter with topics like ‘care living lab in the picture’, ‘projects running in care living labs’ and ‘calls and events’. It took a while, but now we are ready to implement this targets with the support of ENoLL!
What do you aim to achieve with the newsletter?
The goal of the health newsletter is to share knowledge and experience between care living labs. Also it offers the opportunity to care living labs to present themselves to other care living labs to set up cooperations.
To illustrate this I‘ll share a nice experience of my own living lab (LiCalab). A few weeks before the ENoLL conference of 2016 we got a question of a large pharmaceutical company to work with us. In 2015 we worked together to co-create and develop a new packaging for emdication for the EMEA market. We worked together with living labs and universities in UK, Denmark, Italy and Slovenia that we knew from the project. In July 2016 the company wanted to cooperate again to design and test a new packaging for Asia-Pasific and Latin-American markets. This was a bigger challenge because we never worked with partners outside of Europe before. We contacted the ENoLL office and also the Belgian colleagues of imec (former iMinds) with the question if they knew living labs in APAC and LATAM. Also at the ENoLL conference in Montréal we met living labs from China, Japan, Brazil and Australia. I’m very grateful to them for the trust they had in us and the very nice and smooth cooperation. I hope to work again together in the future! By sharing experience through the health newsletter I hope we can stay in touch with living labs we met on a more structural base and I hope to learn more about other colleagues that I don’t know at the moment.
How often would the newsletter be sent out?
I think we will start with 4 publications a year. But if we receive a lot of content from other living labs we can raise the frequence to 6 times a year or monthly. We will see.
Who should subscribe to the newsletter?
Everybody with an interest in innovation for health & wellbeing! In my living lab we work on cross-overs between the health and other sectors. Like food, IT, building, … all for health and wellbeing. So we have a broad scope!
What added value do the readers get from subscribing to the newsletter?
– Contacts: Learn to know and get in touch with other care living labs
– Knowledge: Learn to know running projects, share experience, learn more about methods, …
– Opportunities: get an update on upcomming calls, events, partner search for projects
You will be participating at the Open Living Lab Days’17 in Krakow. Can you already share any details on the workshop that you will organise?
Last year my team and I organised a workshop on ‘setting up a transnational care living lab’. We had highly experienced participants in our group and gained nice results out of it. There was a lot of enthusiasm to make it happen! I would like to work further on this theme and hope that other care living labs would like to join us in designing and leading this workshop. Yes, this is an invitation. I will certainly invite the living labs and partners of China, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico from the packaging project I mentioned. So we can share our experience in working together in an assignment of a company that payed for our services.
Next to that I’m leading a cross-border cooperation project between Belgium and the Netherlands, called CrossCare. In this project we work together with 3 Belgian and 3 Dutch care living labs, to support in total 56 companies. Every company is supported by at least 1 Belgian and 1 Dutch living lab. The companies can choose from a menu of services of the living labs, which we rated (€). We will now finetune this menu and pricelist. These experiences and of course also these of other living labs involved in cross border cooperation and the results of last years’ workshop can be the starting point of the workshop ‘17, to design the services, governance and business model of a transnational care living lab. I think it is a great ambition to realise, and I really believe it is possible if we go step by step!