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Nordic/Baltic living labs cooperation in order to optimise innovation activities

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland have undertaken to fund the Living Labs in the North (LILAN) programme, assisting Nordic/Baltic organisations to link common people as part of their innovation processes and to cooperate in creating innovations.

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News update 2 July 2009
Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland have undertaken to fund the Living Labs in the North (LILAN) programme, assisting Nordic/Baltic organisations to link common people as part of their innovation processes and to cooperate in creating innovations.

Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland have together compiled a budget of EUR 2 million in order to strengthen cooperation in the five Nordic countries, Lithuania, and Latvia. During the autumn, the LILAN programme will be ready to receive funding applications and to carry out strategic cooperation with Nordic/Baltic countries. The LILAN programme will establish cooperation between research and development and the public sector, and its projects will carry out work across organisation, sector, and national boundaries.

Living Labs is a special method for human-oriented innovation activities, providing an everyday development environment for new products, services, and processes. The method gives innovation activities the possibility to react to the needs of common people, and to ideas about what kind of services and products they need, and how their challenges could be solved.

In order to cope with the existing financial situation, organisations should now be able to be innovative, and listen to user needs so that they could decrease development costs and produce more spot-on services and products. The innovation and research organisations preparing the LILAN programme believe that Living Labs as the thinking method could be able to provide Nordic/Baltic organisations with the opportunities to do this. The Finnish parties involved in the preparations of the programme hope that a suitable financer for the programme will also be found in Finland. In that case, Finnish cooperation projects would also be eligible to receive funding from the programme.

The LILAN programme is introduced at the Fire and Living labs – Future by the People conference in Luleå, Sweden, which is one of the kick-off events launching the EU presidency of Sweden. Jaana Kuula, Technology Adviser at Tekes, comments on the LILAN programme in the conference as follows:

“The significance of the economic zone of Northern Finland, for example, is on the rise, as a result of business growth in the Barents Sea region, and the possible EU membership of Iceland. At the moment, new, boundary-crossing development work is emerging in the north, and the Living Labs concept could be a really good tool for optimising the work.”

“The Nordic countries have shared the value basis of a well-being society, and Nordic cooperation has also previously resulted in many good things. The well-being society now faces massive challenges, and the user- and human-oriented developmental policy that the Living Labs thinking represents could be a possibility to solve these challenges together,” says Ossi Kuittinen, Development Director at Sitra.

For further information, please contact:

Visit the LILAN website for more details about the programme, contact information of the organisations preparing the programme, and application information.

For further information, please contact:
Ossi Kuittinen, Development Director, Sitra,
firstname.lastname@sitra.fi, tel. +358 9 6189 9221
Jaana Kuula, Technology Adviser, Tekes,
email: firstname.lastname@@tekes.fi, tel. +358 10 60 24513

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