Living Lab for Design and Services

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Mirja Kalviainen, D’ART Design Resource Centre, North Karelia University of Applied Sciences,, +358 50 4070196 Ilkka Kakko, Karostech Ltd, Joensuu Science Park,

Effective member: 

Joensuu area Living Lab is built on the collaborative activities between research and education, science parks and businesses. Regional industry includes plastic, machinery, wood, bio energy, forestry technology and service sector experience tourism and ICT- development for wellbeing, healthcare and educational solutions. From the main LL stakeholders the North Karelia University of Applied Sciences (NKUAS) has cumulated expertise implementing these networks and multidisciplinary approaches to user driven design, service and business development and Joensuu Science Park Ltd (JSP) has been a demonstration partner in ECOLEAD project for Professional Virtual Communities using co-creation methodologies.

JSP and NKUAS collaborate in developing products and services both in the sectors of B2B and consumer offerings. Living Lab for Design and Services focuses in creating and improving sustainable product-service concepts with user-driven methods to achieve global competitive advantage through user value and engagement. Typically the concepts combine the know how from several SME’s in achieving the right value offering and user experience in the areas such as living, work, tourism, learning or senior solutions. Joensuu as a business hub of the region is a relatively small city with socially networked collaborative structure for user involvement in real life situations and environments. The hole of Joensuu forms the platform of the Living Lab: senior citizens facilities, marketplace, peoples residential areas, homes, universities, schools, public service centres, recreational outdoor areas and even forests. The geographical position offers unique possibilities for cross border activities also with the Russians. 

Services offered for SMEs in the LL are facilitation for user driven R&D- and Innovation – processes, user research, user involvement and user testing combined with gathering together the necessary stakeholders for user value. NKUAS D’ART Design Resource Centre INNOstudio® is an intensive innovation service offering tailor-made workshops. These workshops are supported or their content is the user-driven product development: qualitative user research (interviews, observation), collaborative user development, participatory innovation camps, visual user research, usability testing and relevant market surveys. Business support model for public and private service providers has been created and successfully implemented by JSP. JSP based network Oasis is a co-created innovation environment with GLOW, an ubiquitous, embedded social network and communication software service. JSP Karostech Ltd is in a process of creating Global Oasis Network. Already existing activity of establishing PVCs with specific knowledge scopes will be one of the methods of co-creation. Movense Ltd, a well known Finnish user driven development facilitator consultancy is also a netWork Oasis customer in Joensuu and has tools, methods and experience in engaging citizens.