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InnoStars, Education, Innovation, 2018

The Living Lab Experience in Portugal

22nd August 2018

Understanding the benefits of the Living Labs for society

EIT Health’s “The Living Lab Experience” workshop took place at Hard Club, Porto, on 27 November. The EIT Health meeting was part of the U.Porto Entreprenow event, organised by U.Porto Innovation with the support of several partners.

With a rich panel of health innovation experts, the debate focused mainly on the theme of Living Labs and how this concept can benefit society.

Perspectives from Spain and Portugal were presented, both at the micro and macro scales, as well as the public (with the example of a Portuguese municipality) and private approaches (represented at the event by SONAE, one of the largest companies in Portugal).

During the morning of the event, different models of the functioning and sustainability of a Living Lab were discussed, as well as ways to implement them and ensure that they remain in operation, benefitting the surrounding environments.

This workshop was attended by Ana Barros (Fraunhofer Portugal COLABORAR), António Cunha (Pedro Nunes Institute – Portugal), Cecilia Vera-Muñoz (EIT Health Living Lab), Elísio Costa (Porto4Ageing – University of Porto, Portugal), Gil Gonçalves (INOVA+, Portugal), Joana Carrilho (U.Porto Innovation, Portugal), Jorge Figueira (University of Coimbra, Portugal), Luís Matias (Penela Municipality, Portugal) Maria Concepción Alonso (RedLabs, Spain), Marlos Silva (SONAE, Portugal) and Miguel Galdiz (The European Network of Living Labs). All the participants had the opportunity to report, first-hand, the experiences of their institutions with the Living Lab concept.

One of the cases presented was the Smart Rural, by Luís Matias, Mayor of Penela (a Municipality in Portugal). For some years, the city has had a Living Lab that aims to stimulate innovation in a rural context. The Smart Rural Living Lab is part of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) and was inspired by the concept of smart cities. It has been a real success for the region.

Currently, the University of Porto is also looking for partners to develop the Porto Living Lab, which will, in the first phase of its activity, focus on active ageing.

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