Living Labs as Regulatory Learning Tools

Our Mission

In this Joint Working Group, we explore how living labs can be used for regulatory learning.

We aim at fostering mutual learning and co-creation among the actors of the multiple helix model to address regulatory challenges and needs and leverage opportunities that derive from a changing innovation landscape.

The activities focus on developing and promoting living labs as a participatory, evidence-based approach that can support co-creation and better regulatory governance of innovation and spur socio-technical and socio-economic transformation in societies.

Key questions we want to answer:

  • Question 1: What is regulatory learning, what are its desired outcomes, and which methods and tools can support it?
  • Question 2: Why is regulatory learning relevant and important for a single living lab and for networks thereof, and what can both, regulators and living labs, learn from  ach other?
  • Question 3: How can regulatory learning be applied to one or more living labs? How is this already being done, and how could/should it be done more systematically in the future?

Group Coordination

The Joint Working Group is open to all the stakeholders, and the coordination of its activities is carried out coordinated by Joint Research Center from the European Commission, and the Computer Vision Centre from ENoLL.
The coordination team leverages ENoLL’s expertise and experience in capacity-building for living labs and JRC’s position at the research-policy interface in the European Commission for joint effort to mainstream living labs as a tool in policy-making.

 

Key definitions and concepts

In the context of this work, the term regulatory learning refers to all insights relevant to current and future regulatory policy, which regulators and the multiple helix components gain as a result of engaging with a living lab environment where an innovative technology or solution is being tested in compliance with relevant regulations.

  • Regulatory experimentation involves a test or trial of a new product, service, approach or process, designed to generate evidence that can inform the design, revision or administration of a regulatory regime (Gorst et al., 2021). Regulatory experimentation can also take the form of a temporary removal of regulatory barriers (Schittekatte et al., 2021).
  • Regulatory sandboxing is a framework for testing innovation and the rules and regulations underpinning it, in a real-world setting, typically under a temporary regulatory exemption (BMWi, 2019). Regulatory sandboxes tend to share the following characteristics:
    • a genuine innovation (technological solutions, service, and/or business model) is being tested;
    • societal and/or consumer benefit is expected;
    • readiness for testing has been established; iv) the scope and duration of the testing have been defined in advance by the relevant regulatory authority;
    • safeguards are in place to preserve fundamental policy objectives, such as consumer protection (European Commission, 2021), and citizens’ fundamental rights (GDPR etc.).

 

BMWi (2019). Making space for innovation: The handbook for regulatory sandboxes. Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy, Germany.

European Commission (2021). Better Regulation Toolbox. European Commission.

Gorst, C., Richardson, A., Tulk, N., Armstrong, H., Roberts, I., Mosse, R., Wong, A., & Florescu, A. (2021). Regulators’ Experimentation Toolkit. Centre for Regulatory Innovation.

Schittekatte, T., Meeus, L., Jamasb, T., & Llorca, M. (2021). Regulatory experimentation in energy: Three pioneer countries and lessons for the green transition. Energy Policy, 156.

Expected Outcomes:

  • OUTCOME #1 (Q2/2022): List of key concepts and definitions. Presented at the kick-off meeting (2020/04/17). [COMPLETED]
  • OUTCOME #2 (Q2/2022): Initial survey on living labs and regulatory learning: Presented at the kick-off meeting (2020/04/17). [COMPLETED]
  • OUTCOME #3 (Q3/2022): Collection of bibliographic references in the state-of-the-art. Available at the Group’s web page (2022/08/29). [COMPLETED]
  • OUTCOME #4 (Q3/2022): JRC Science for Policy Brief ‘Regulatory learning in experimentation spaces. [COMPLETED]
  • OUTCOME #5 (Q4/2022): Report on 3 initial areas (AI, Energy and Mobility), including thre results of the OLLD2022 Workshop. [IN PREPARATION]
  • OUTCOME #6 (Q1/2023): Collection of practices. [PLANNED]
  • OUTCOME #7 (Q2/2023): Guidance for applying regulatory learning in a living lab context. [PLANNED]
  • OUTCOME #8 (Q3/2023): Revision of key questions for the group at OLLD23. [PLANNED]

Planned Activities of the Group

  • Rapid study to derive initial insights on questions 1&3, including desk research and interviews (following a snowballing approach)
  • Contributions to community events (still to be confirmed)
    • Contribution to DT4Regions webinar series

Webinars on "Living Labs as Regulatory Learning Tools"

(2022/04/17) – “Kick of Meeting on Living Labs as tools for regulatory learning”.   

  • Koen Vertvoort. ENoLL
  • Kaia Kert. Joint Research Center
  • Evdokimos Konstantinidis. TSHESSAL / ENoLL
  • Martina Desole. ENoLL
  • Lorna Shcrefler. European Commission
  • Fernando Vilariño. Computer Vision Center – ENoLL
  • Monika Mchowska and Agnieszka Wlodarczyk. Krakov Technology Park / ENoLL
  • Maria Alonso Barreiro. Joint Research Center
  • Stefano Tarantola. Joint Research Center
KoM Regulatory learning.mp4 from European Network of Living Labs on Vimeo.
(2022/06/17) – “Living Labs as tools for regulatory learning: Basic concepts and examples”.   Watch video 

  • Koen Vertvoort. ENoLL
  • Kaia Kert. Joint Research Center
  • Fernando Vilariño. Computer Vision Center-UAB / ENoLL
  • Manuel Villa-Arrieta. FUSEAM Fundation
  • Michaela Vebrova. Joint Research Center
Living Labs as tools for regulatory learning June 17 2022 from European Network of Living Labs on Vimeo.

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