Living Lab, User Driven Open Innovation and Future Internet networking and ENoLL 4th wave launch, 13th and 14th April 2010, Valencia

The scope of the event was to discuss the role of European Network of Living Labs and User Driven Open Innovation in the Future Internet initiative. In particular, ENoLL aims to contact its members and the Living Lab community at large in relation to the CIP ICT PSP call on Open innovation for Future Internet-enabled services in Smart Cities and for the Future Internet Public- Private-Partnership (FI PPP). The event was also a great opportunity to present the APOLLON Project.

On April 13th, ENoLL organized a LivingLab BarCamp in Valencia to warm up the new and older livinlabbers. The stage was open for all spontaneous speeches and presentations, and the Camp gave a sneak preview for the contents behind the news given out the next day.

On April 14th, the European Commission and the Spanish Presidency had publicly announced the 4th wave of new Living Lab members . The call for new members had been announced in January and 117 applications were received. Thus, ENoLL currently coordinates 212 benchmarked European living labs, out of which 25 are outside of Europe, now also covering four other continents (North and South America, Africa and Asia). The afternoon of the 14th was dedicated to presentation of activities and prospects on Future Internet and living labs. The innovation policies world-wide call for end-user participation; living labs offer not only a platform engaging them, but an eco-system to produce demand-driven services while bridging the gap between ICT R&D and applications on various ICT implementing domains (transport, health, energy, e-governance).

During the event were discussed three important subjects of APOLLON Project:

-          General APOLLON aspects and methodology;

-          SME’s relevant content;

-          Content relating to the four specific domains, Home Care & Indipendent Living, Energy Efficiency, eManufacturing and Social Media.

With regard to the general Apollon Overview, during his presentation Mr. Pieter Ballon has pointed out how the Apollon Project addresses the next frontier in Living Lab research and in particular,

-          Leverages local implantation overcome local limitations;

-          Does joint testing in cross border Living Lab project;

-          Offers opportunities for innovators (i.e. SME’s) to innovate and scale up internationally much faster.

The key for achieving this results is to follow a cross border methodology based on connect - set boundaries - support and govern - engage and manage.

In his second presentation Mr. Ballon, after having described the four Pilots and how them are increasingly working  during the start up and planning phases, has invited all the attendees to participate to APOLLON activities becoming Supporting or Associate Partners.

Mr. Roberto Santoro, then, showed the centric role of SME’s in APOLLON and highlighted an opportunity for SMEs to take part to the GNSS living lab prize. In particular he described the strategy of transforming the methodology of engaging SMEs in APOLLON pilots into a permanent service to be provided by ENoLL to all SMEs willing to take part in cross boarder pilot activities after APOLLON project completion.He then invited SMEs and Living Labs to submit their ideas to the GNSS Living Lab prize contest:The GNSS Living Lab Prize will award three winners, who will get the opportunity to conduct a ‘reality check trial’ in a suitable Living Lab with the involvement of relevant user communities and potential  future customers. In addition the winners will receive a prize money of EUR 10.000each:

-          Theme 1: GNSS for health, ageing and inclusion

-          Theme 2: GNSS for energy efficiency and environment

-          Theme 3: Media and Participation

 

The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) welcomes the Commission’s initiatives for the concrete implementation of Future Internet technologies in cities, regions and countries. ENoLL stresses that the Commission’s objective of ‘smart infrastructures’ that bring economic and social benefits to all citizens is not likely to be reached through an exclusively technology-driven process. This is why living labs, that enable open and user-driven experiments and tests and Social Innovation, are the necessary complement to technical test-beds for Future Internet technologies.

Living labs are open platforms to engage user communities as contributors to innovations. They provide real-life user needs definition testing facilities offered by local Public-Private-Partnerships with People. Together, the ENoLL members support the “Innovation Lifecycle” for all actors in the system: end-users, SMEs, corporations, public sector and academia (http://www.openlivinglabs.eu).

The week got a very unusual ending as volcanic ashes from Iceland stopped hundreds of people flying back to their homes, also from Valencia. These extraordinary travel stories will be shared long to come, but strikingly the situation gave a strong rise to social networking as a measure to resolve global emergency situation. Aviation companies moved their best-updated communication to Facebook, people self-organised themselves for joint transportation, build travel groups and looked for vehicles through social networks. Bonds, networks and channels will remain. It will be interesting to follow how this user-driven emergency resolving will evolve and bear fruit in the future.

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