The Living Lab gains popularity. But what is it? 

The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) counts 150+ active Living Labs worldwide. Swiss EMPA's NEST is one of them.

ENoLL uses this definition for a Living Lab:

"Living Labs (LLs) are defined as user-centred, open innovation ecosystems based on systematic user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings.

LLs are both practice-driven organisations that facilitate and foster open, collaborative innovation, as well as real-life environments or arenas where both open innovation and user innovation processes can be studied and subject to experiments and where new solutions are developed.

LLs operate as intermediaries among citizens, research organisations, companied, cities and regions for joint value co-creation, rapid prototyping or validation to scale up innovation and businesses. LLs have common elements but multiple different implementations."

One of the members is the Next Evolution in Sustainable Building Technologies (NEST) living lab at Empa in Dübendorf, Switzerland. NEST is the modular research and innovation building of Empa and Eawag. At NEST, new technologies, materials and systems are tested, researched, further developed and validated under real conditions. Close cooperation with partners from research, industry and the public sector ensures that innovative construction and energy technologies are put onto the market faster. NEST contributes to making the use of resources and energy more sustainable and circular. Partners of NEST are companies like Microsoft, Autodesk, ZHAW and bim_facility. One of the focus areas is on the development of use cases for the digital operation of buildings and the improvement of the interface from the creation (BIM) to the property information model (AIM).

For more information on ENoLL go HERE. To see what EMPA's NEST does in the area of digitization go HERE

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