ENoLL Thematic Domain Networks
Regional and Territorial
Scope and Objectives
Living Labs are born as a strategy for bringing benefits to ICT R&D, but by moving out of the research laboratory and into real contexts of living and working they are assuming ever stronger links with regional policies. This territorial dimension is emerging as a new approach to achieving local development objectives for promoting a sustainable knowledge economy, transversal to specific application domains such as health, transport, energy or the environment. Indeed, the user-driven open innovation model highlights the specific contribution of the milieu where a Living Lab is situated – its people, its culture, its environment, its economic fabric; in a word, its “Territorial Capital” – to the innovation processes that occur. Living Labs not only define new products and services for participating ICT R&D actors; they generate broader “Territorial Innovation” processes for the surrounding community, as the co-design approach is shaped to meet the concerns and (regional development) needs of citizens and businesses in their specific territories. These dynamics are of vital relevance to regional development and innovation policies that, with approximately half of the entire EU budget, thus constitute a potentially significant new procurement market for “demand-driven” R&D. Already, regionally-oriented Living Labs are emerging as a bottom-up phenomena, coming from the local level where development funding is managed and concrete benefits are first seen. ENoLL can meet the challenge of answering this bottom-up process with a structuring response from the European level, through:
· an operational mapping of the dynamics linking Living Labs with regional development, based on a comparative analysis of Living Labs in different territorial contexts;
· specific case instances that demonstrate the concrete benefits of a Living Lab to the surrounding region;
· the development of common methodologies that maximise the synergies between a Living Lab and the specific context where it is set up, including the integration of Living Labs with local governance structures such as Local and Coastal Action Groups, Territorial Pacts, River and Landscape Contracts, etc.
· identification of markets and priority application areas with a territorial dimension, i.e. urban renewal, environmental management, etc., and development of business models adapted to development-oriented procurement;
· operational and procedural proposals for integration of the Living Lab approach into sustainable development, innovation and information society policies at the local and regional level, with the coordination of strategies and priorities at the EU level. The objectives of the Regional Development thematic domain network are thus:
· To bring Living Labs with a regional and territorial dimension into a shared community;
· To develop methods to best link Living Labs with local sustainable development objectives;
· To promote Living Labs as a development policy tool at the regional, national and European levels.
Working Groups and Action Plan
Several working groups are proposed to focus the activities of the Regional Development thematic domain network on concrete aspects of regional policy. The initial five are as follows:
· Med Group: with a focus on the Mediterranean regions and their specific development needs and potential;
· Rural Group: carrying forward the work started with the [email protected] project and enriched with the many new ENoLL members working in rural territories;
· Urban Group: bringing together Living Labs that address urban renewal and specifically urban problems such as mass transport, refuse, and air quality;
· Coastal Group: including Living Labs related to Integrated Coastal Zone Management, sustainable fishing policies, coastal and marine ecological corridors, etc.
· Cross-border Group: addressing issues specific to cross-border areas and the inter-cultural, inter-administration, inter-lingual, etc. problems that arise. Each group will follow a common working plan for 2009 consisting in:
· A census of Living Labs falling within the scope of the working group;
· A comparative analysis of the policy regional development addressed;
· Case studies that demonstrate the benefits to regional development.
This work will firstly identify priority topics for cooperative projects based on a range of instruments, including at the regional level a coordinated approach for regional EARDF, OP ERDF and ESF programmes and at the European level programmes such as CIP IST PSP, FP7, and Territorial Cooperation. Secondly, and in support of this first strategy, common documents will be produced to identify policy options for Living Labs in regional development strategies and to raise awareness on the benefits and opportunities for implementation. This will primarily occur through a loose thematic coordination of conference and workshop papers and presentations of the participating members and their gathering into a common repository. If and when required, synthetic reports and contributions to strategic documents can be compiled using this baseline.
Membership in the Regional Development thematic domain network