Living Labs Minho

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Information
Contact: 

João Álvaro Carvalho Universidade do Minho, Escola de Engenharia, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal + 351 253 510100

jac@dsi.uminho.pt

Effective member: 
No
Country: 
Portugal

Value creation through innovation for & by the people

Living Labs Minho aims at enabling and promoting projects that simultaneously contribute to: product and service innovation; technology transfer between research units and social and economic institutions; innovation-based value and wealth creation within the Minho region; develop a culture of openness to innovation, an entrepreneurial attitude, and a participative citizenship stance among Minho inhabitants, specially its youth; knowledge-driven regional development; extension of existing IT infrastructures with potential to attract new services and industries to the region.  

Description of Concept

Minho, the northwestern region of Portugal, has around 5000 km2 and 1 million inhabitants. It is characterized by its youth – it is recognized as one of the youngest regions of Europe. It has a strong potential for being grounds for initiatives that involve participative approaches to promote sustainable regional development and value and wealth creation.  Living Labs Minho is being led by University of Minho, through its School of Engineering and its research centres. The initiative is instrumental to the achievement of two goals defined by University of Minho: to establish itself as an university without walls; to lead Minho into a region of knowledge.  Information technology is considered as a focus area for Living Labs Minho projects, irrespectively of the social or economic sector that might benefit from the products or services to be launched and experimented in Living Labs Minho. Current projects address areas such as: health, commerce, public services and culture. However, other sectors have already been mentioned by potential Living Labs Minho members.  Besides research institutions (mainly research and development units associated to University of Minho) Living Labs Minho members include local authorities (municipal authorities from Minho’s main cities); associations of industry and commerce companies; business units from several sectors with emphasis on information technology related business; tourism promotion agencies. Local authorities have being promoting the involvement of other institutions, citizens associations and citizens individually.  

References and Track Record

University of Minho is a Portuguese pioneer and leading research university in the area of information technology. Participatory approaches for product and service design have been promoted and used by researchers in the area. The university has an extensive record of collaborative research projects with industry. As result, several public-private partnerships have been established, and are active as interface institutions, both in specific thematic domains areas (including IT) and horizontally, promoting knowledge transfer. During the last years, collaboration between municipalities and research units saw an important increase with several projects that fit within University of Minho’s region of knowledge and university without walls goals.