Flemish Living Lab Platform

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Information doc: 

Mark De Colvenaer

Liersesteenweg 4, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium

E-mail: Mark.de.colvenaer@staff.telenet.be

Tel: +32 15 333 000

Effective member: 

What is key to the Flemish Living Lab Platform

  • Focus on innovative products and services for users in an intelligent home environment.
  • A transparent living lab process: reduce transaction costs for those participating – clear ground rules for all participants – how participate, how they get, how they exit, etc.
  • Creating value, accelerating innovation, and hence economic activity within Flanders and abroad.
  • A strong consortium consisting of large companies (Telenet, Alcatel Lucent), strong innovative SME’s (Androme, Fifthplay), a research organisation experienced in Living Lab research (IBBT i.Lab.o) and interface organisations (Smart Grid Flanders, Kennis Centrum Vlaamse Steden, Medianet Vlaanderen) having access to a broad network of relevant stakeholders.

The Flemish Living Lab platform is set up with a clear vision: Living Lab research is relevant to valorize ICE (Information Communication and Entertainment) research & development, Living Lab research is expensive, time consuming and complex to set up.  


The [mission] is : to optimize and boost the valorisation of ICE R&D in Flanders, to support joint ‘value creation’ for all stakeholders involved.  

Therefore the platform will : set up a infrastructure, test user panel, and a portfolio of service; mobilize stakeholders and acquire projects in the 3 [domains]:

  • Smart Grids : Smart grids are electricity networks integrating in an intelligent manner the behavior and actions of all users, both consumers and producers.  The goal: sustainable, economic and secure supply of electricity. The Flemish Living Lab Platform focuses on the end user and his role in a 'Smart Grid' context. Test infrastructure is provided to support testing of innovative smart grid products and services for an intelligent home environment.
  • Smart Media : New technology (3D, IPAD, Black, in-house networks, cloud computing, etc.) allows us to consume media in a different way. The permanent test panel of the Flemish Living Lab Platform wil be equipped with a digital TV environment, fast Internet connections, tablets, and access to a cloud communication environment as a basis for testing smart media applications and services and to evaluate how innovative media experience can be created.
  • Smart Cities : The Flemish Proeftuin platform provides a virtual network that is intended to bring the local community (residents, local traders, regional press, local government, civil society and associations) in a city closer together in a very easy way.  A new channel to communicate and exchange information in an innovative way.  Our urban society is changing rapidly and is facing many challenges: an aging population, training for youth, unemployment, social integration, housing, gentrification, healthcare, etc. Can this virtual network, be a basis for a solution?  Does this technology allow for improved sustainability of cities and its citizens?

[Infrastructure] The Flemish Living Lab Platform is deploying a ‘generic intelligent home environment’ in the households participating as test users in living lab projects : Fast Internet connections (up to 100 Mbps) and access to hotspots, A digital television platform, Wireless modems with wifi, Gateways to connect smart devices, support systems to gather testing information.

[The Test user population] The Flemish Living Lab is building a panel in different layers  First of all there is a dedicated Living Lab consisting of around 250 households (ca. 600 test users) spread around three locations: Mechelen, Gent & Sint-Niklaas. For each of our Living Lab panel users we have an in-depth profile linked to the specific activity domains. In addition the platform has also a larger panel - which we call the prelaunch panel - consisting of more then 2000 people. Due to this large prelaunch panel the core living lab panel can rapidly and efficiently be expanded. It also allow us to validate results from within the dedicated Living Lab panel. It is the objective to make the pre-launch panel representative for Flanders as a whole.

[Service Portfolio] The Flemish Living Lab Platform is elaborating on a full service portfolio :

  • The definition of your test project.
  • Bringing together expertise.
  • Selecting, recruiting, preparing and monitoring the test users.
  • The rollout of the products or services in the test environment.
  • Gathering and analyzing information and feedback.
  • Solving technical and operational problems.
  • The necessary support before, during and after the test phase.
  • Management of the equipment and devices
  • Smart Money Concepts

References and Track Record

Since the start of the flemish living lab platform (October 2010) several projects and collaboration were already initiated : InCityS (ca. 100 test users involved), 3D-Parma (cooperation with KUL, 50 test users), Linear (Smart Grids, 50 test users involved), Smart E (20 test users involved), e-Reading (cooperation with University College Mechelen (KHM)).  Several contacts with as well research institutions (VITO, IMEC) as industrial organisations (Uitgeverij Averbode, Ansem, Boek.be, Energy ICT, VRT Medialab, Simac, etc.) are ongoing to define living lab activities.  Consortium partners (a.o. IBBT – iLab.o, Alcatel Lucent, Androme, Telenet) are also actively involved in other (inter)national projects (Appollon, JeDi, Xplorative TV, 3D television, etc.)