One of the main strengths of the Living Lab approach is its ability to merge research and innovation processes with the local, real-life context. Over the past years, an increasing number of Living Labs have started operations throughout Europe , and are forming a vibrant and still growing community.
It is clear that networking and federation at a European scale is needed in order to fully leverage the strength of these locally embedded labs. Current initiatives focus e.g. on the exchange of general principles and best practices for individual Living Labs.
The APOLLON project will take the next step in networking and harmonizing Living Lab approaches throughout Europe.
Can SMEs use Living Lab networks to test and enter new markets? Homecare & ILS Energy Efficiency eParticipation eManufacturing Advanced Pilots of Living Labs Operating in Networks
The APOLLON objectives:
Demonstrate the value for SMEs of a European network of local open innovation platforms
Set up thematic networks of Living Labs across Europe
Develop a common approach for cross-border Living Lab experiments
What is needed for cross-border Living Lab Networks?
To create a sustainable network of innovative lead market Living Labs in Europe to address common challenges related to regulatory issues in the so-called ’free last energy mile market’.
To enable household and citizen level validation and empowerment for active role in energy saving, innovative distribution and even areas of local energy productions
To promote strongly local level SME innovation and create European level synergies to these companies in scaling their market reach in ICT enhanced energy efficiency domain
To project new emergent value constructions and business models in the liberated energy market through these pilots from these pilot user/community/local SME perspective and highlight regulatory issues related.
To pilot a common benchmark framework, and derive general guidelines related to this. This framework will assess the scalability of the network services and the comparability of research data within cross-border projects.
Work Package 3 targets the challenges in terms of Energy Efficiency which the European Union is currently facing, by:
Engaging in cross-border activities in four European and one Brazilian energy related LLs (Amsterdam, Helsinki, Lisbon, Luleå and Vitória in Brazil) establishing a common benchmarking framework including a service model for clients, business model for sustainability, as well as a reference model to share data, knowledge, experience and competencies and seek towards more efficient resources usage.
Testing the impact of ICT driven applications namely, real time data on the consumers and assessing the behaviour transformation leading to sustainable energy conservation.
Fostering SMEs and supporting them to scale up their innovation activities to new ecosystems exploitation in the European market place and beyond.
Test, evaluate and validate the process of extending the market for SMEs operating with products and services in Energy Efficiency.
The pilot projects will run in Living Labs localized in Amsterdam, Helsinki, Lisbon and Luleå. They are operating in a very fragmented market all over Europe which raises problems and barriers that we intend to analyze during the project and to propose best practice solutions and recommendations. These regional differences are originated by for example:
Climate differences (Northern countries versus Southern countries).
Regulatory environments. Different standards. Different levels of deregulation.
Lack of standards and interoperability. Integration is a challenge that needs to be addressed and adequate solutions found.
Different communication and data transfer standards. Harmonization needs to be achieved.
Micro generation of renewable sources and net metering regulations. Analyze of best practice and customers preferred models.
During this phase the Living Labs will share best practices and methods for user testing. The Living Labs will co-create a methodology for the Energy Efficiency domain and will determine what actions to optimize the usage scenario to be implemented for the cross border pilot experiment. The common technologies to be used are agreed for the four pilots.
The selected technologies will be installed in the Pilots under a general usage scenario. This will include a network of sensors, actuators and smart meters connected to wireless interface providing real time information. Users will interact with the system and behaviour transformation will be carried out. The integration of the energy management systems and the interface with electricity utilities will depend of local conditions.
Users will be facilitated through a participative innovation process. They will define their needs and the level of acceptable settings and comfort they consider adequate for their life style and expenditure. These are dependent of their culture, climate and building insulation conditions. Adequate methodologies will be used to gather the user needs and ideas. Users will get familiar with the energy management systems and will self educate learning from each other.
Evaluation - The evaluation will be done continuously and will gather information on:
Difficulties faced with product integration due to lack of standardization and local regulatory environment (Deregulation availability of real time data, dynamic pricing, etc).
Difficulties with the users’ culture and their surrounding environments. The setting of control parameters is dependent on the local environment.
Results on the impact of regulatory environment, climate, culture and behaviour are compared between the different Living Labs. Methodologies and tools to gather results will be assessed to select the most effective.
Evaluation of the benefits of using cross border methodologies for co-creating and co-testing Energy Efficiency