Title: Towards innovation in Living Labs networks

Authors: Seppo Leminen; Mika Westerlund

Addresses: Laurea University of Applied Sciences, SID, Service Innovation and Design, Vanha maantie 9, FI-02650 Espoo, Finland; Department of Marketing, School of Business, Aalto University, FI-00076 Aalto, Finland. ' Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, 801 Dunton Tower, 1125 Colonel By Drive, Ottawa ON K1S 5B6, Canada

Abstract: This paper focuses on Living Labs that are open user-centred environments for networked innovation development. Although the concept of open innovation has quickly attracted both the scientific and applied communities, research on Living Labs is scarce, and literature lacks understanding of the characteristics of the Living Labs model. We aim to describe what the Living Labs are from the innovation network perspective. Using a case study of a regional Living Labs initiative, we describe the key participants and their roles in the Living Labs network. In addition, we discuss their motives to participate in the network, as well as the outcomes and perceived challenges of innovation co-creation. According to our findings, Living Labs are a practical way of encouraging open innovation. They are dedicated inter-organisational environments that provide pertinent support for Concurrent Engineering's (CE) networked processes. The integration of users as co-producers in product development is imperative for success in the Living Labs model because it reveals their latent needs and enables unforeseen outcomes.

Keywords: living labs; co-creation; open innovation; innovation networks; user-driven; challenges; motives; outcomes; living laboratory; concurrent engineering; simultaneous engineering; product development.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPD.2012.051161

International Journal of Product Development, 2012 Vol.17 No.1/2, pp.43 - 59

Received: 20 Jan 2012
Accepted: 16 Oct 2012

Published online: 15 Dec 2012 *

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