Press Release: OpenLivingLab Days 2019
450+ participants from all over the world join the annual Living Lab event
[Brussels, 27 September 2019] – The annual flagship event of the European Network of Living Labs took place in Thessaloniki, Greece between 3-5 September 2019. The event included 41 hands-on workshops, 7 visits to the local innovation community, Breakfast Session with 5 of ENoLL’s Action Oriented Task Forces, 33 presentations of research papers and multiple occasions for networking.
Mayor of Thessaloniki, Konstantinos Zervas, opened the conference alongside Fernando Vilariño (Chairperson of ENoLL, Associate Director at Computer Vision Centre and Associate Professor at UAB. Co-Founder of the Library Living Lab), Nikolaos Papaioannou (Rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) and Theodoros Dardavesis (Dean of School of Medicine, AUTH) representing the supporting partner of the conference Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. On behalf of Apostolos Tzitzikostas (Governor of the Central Macedonia Region) – Constantinos Michailides, (Head of Dierectorate of Innovation And Enterpreneurship Support, Region of Central Macedonia) welcomed the participants to the second biggest city in Greece.
The Mayor of Thessaloniki acknowledged the importance of Living Labs and stressed that “we have to empower everyone to innovate through co-creation methodologies: making the citizens actors instead of factors. It is important to internationalise economic activity and societal solutions through Living Lab experiments“.
Keynote speaker, Maria Rosaria Ceccarelli (Chief, Trade Facilitation Section – United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) added that “ENoLL is an excellent example that facilitates the scalping up of sustainable innovations”.
For the second consecutive year the “Scaling-up Challenge” session was organized. This fast prototyping session aimed to reflect on starting, on-going strategic documents, projects and initiatives. The session was co-organised by the European Commission Directorate-General for Research and Innovation and the European Commission Executive Agency for Small and Medium Enterprises.
Research Papers are a strong backbone of the event and provide an opportunity for researchers interested in Living Labs to present their findings in front of the large audience. The participants can then vote for their favourite paper. Based on the votes by the general public and the reviewers, Veli Pekka Niitamo award for Best Research Paper was given to: Nele A.J. De Witte, Ingrid Adriaensen, Leen Broeckx, Vicky Van Der Auwera and Tom Van Daele for the paper ”Cross-cultural Differences in Living Lab Research”.
The award for Best Innovation Paper went to Judith H.J. Urlings, Bianca Ceccarelli, Claire A.G.J. Huijnen, Paulette J.J. Wauben, Joke Donné, Ronald Van den Bossche, Alejandra Rios-Cortes, Koen Beyers and Vanessa Vankerckhoven for the paper “Creating an anonymous, at-home screening for sexually transmitted diseases sent by letter mail: the cross-border development of a standardized urine collection device and associated testing service”.
Prior to the OpenLivingLab Days, a training day was held to prepare aspiring Living Labbers for three days of knowledge exchange. The Learning Lab Day is a one-day training offered to starter Living Labs and other Living Lab enthusiasts in learning all about the key elements and operations of Living Labs.For the first time in 2019, the Learning Lab Day program had two tracks:
- Track 1 A Starter’s guide to Living Labs: Expert presentations and hands-on activities that aim to provide a comprehensive overview
- Track 2 Intermediate/advanced level: Interactive workshops for those ready to take the next step along their learning journey, digging deeper into the topics of panel management & business models in Living Labs
The 2020 edition of the OpenLivingLab Days will be held in Ghent, Belgium hosted by imec.living labs and De Krook.
What is the European Network of Living Labs
The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) organises the event each year together with a different host. ENoLL is the international federation of benchmarked Living Labs in Europe and worldwide. Founded in November 2006 under the auspices of the Finnish European Presidency, the network has grown in ‘waves’ up to this day and include more than 150 members.
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