Scottish Living Lab

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Information doc: 

Convenor: Dr James Stewart, Institute for the Study of Science Technology and Innovation, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Effective member: 

Scottish Living Lab (SLL) Initiative is an initiative of 6 Scottish Universities and public and private bodies in Scotland supporting innovation and industrial and social development. It aims to strengthen innovation capability in Scotland by bridging gap between technology development and user appropriation, focusing on strengths of Scottish Industry, such as wireless applications, digital design and health. The SLL project academic partners include leading research Universities working in Informatics, user centred design, eHealth, technologies in urban life, digital media design, product design and open innovation in ICTs. In particular the Initiative is developing a ‘living lab’ and ‘creative communities’ for creation and testing of wireless applications and services  with commercial and public clients, and a user-centred Studio and for exploring rapid development  and co-creation techniques.  

Description of Concept

The mission of the SSL is to develop an open collaboration and infrastructure to evaluate and develop new services and products using user co-creation methodologies, drawing on ideas in ‘open innovation’, creating a permanent knowledge transfer and innovation environment in place of ad-hoc and project based arrangements. The SLL  Initative will enable a range of commercial and research organisations to develop and test concepts, services, applications and products based on ubiquitous mobile and wireless technologies. In particular this includes SMEs working in the field of wireless applications It will draw on the wide range of complementary expertise in social science research, innovation studies, user testing and user-centred design of the University partners, and the business expertise and facilities of commercial partners. Other aims include:

1. Support public sector organisation and universities wishing to use new mobile and wireless services in their activities through the Lab technical infrastructure

2. Provide a public-private-academic focus for collaborative development of new technologies, aimed at bridging the gap between technology and user appropriation.

3.  Stimulate business development and efficiency, and support social inclusion and development in Scotland. The SLL is an open organisation welcoming new partners from all sectors, and  in the next 12 months will develop the framework and practical and theoretical knowledge necessary for successful collaboration of  stakeholders in the Lab, as well as developing and coordinating specific Living Lab activities.  

References and Track Record

The initial partners are the University of Edinburgh, Dundee University, the University of Glasgow, Napier University  the Edinburgh College of Art, and Glasgow School of Art. They have a wide range of experience in user involvement in innovation, including large scale eHealth projects, work with the elderly, and innovative mobile applications. Other supporting organisations include Wireless Innovation and Scottish Enterprise.  The University partners have a broad experience in user-centred research for product design, strategy and policy.  For example Dundee University has 25 years experience of working with and designing for a wide range of users, including harder to reach/niche groups such as older people, people with disabilities, and highly specialised knowledge communities The University of Edinburgh is a leading research centre in innovation studies in Informatics, innovation studies and eHealth. The OPENspace Research Centre at the Edinburgh College of Art specialises on leading-edge research in the fields of disability and Social Inclusion, Health and Restorative Environments, and Tourism related to outdoor spaces. All the university partners have extensive experience in knowledge and technology transfer to industry and in the creation of spinout companies.