Living Labs empowering citizens – TAMK as part of the ENoLL community drives the change

Old building in Barcelona and people in front of it.
Living Lab activities take place in real-life settings with citizens. Open Living Labs Days 2023, Barcelona. Pic: Hanna-Greta Puurtinen

Empowering the citizens to change is a tough challenge. Instead of simply participating them into innovation process, they must be truly and thoroughly aware of their possibilities and possess the right tools and capacities. We all must take concrete actions not only in changing our own behavior but also to push others such and policy makers and authorities to drive and enable this change. The Living Labs are a perfect tool to facilitate this.

Open Living Labs Days as a platform for learning, collaboration and networking

During the third week of September, we participated in the Open Living Lab Days 2023 (OLLD23) in Barcelona. Organised by the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL) in collaboration with prestigious Catalonian partners i2Cat, Computer Vision Center and Fundación Épica, the event offered an excellent opportunity to discuss, debate and network the topics for the era of transformations and the assets of the Living Labs within.

In this year’s conference edition, TAMK was exposed by two accepted papers, namely Mobile Hybrid Energy System as Open Innovation Ecosystem by Aki Korpela, Kari Kallioharju, Aki Kortetmäki and Hanna-Greta Puurtinen and Circular Economy Solutions Transforming Innovation Processes in Manufacturing Industry Ecosystems by Hanna-Greta Puurtinen, Petri Pohjola and Jere Siivonen.

Living Labs in TAMK

For TAMK, being an effective member of ENoLL since 2009, the growth on importance of Living Labs approaches in the topics emphasized in European policy papers and the funding calls specifically mention Living Labs provides excellent opportunities for both capacity building and external funding. The essence of Living Labs is inherent in all the actions we do in TAMK, namely, end-user involvement, co-creation, open innovation, and working with various stakeholders. Furthermore, and most importantly, we implement our activities in real-life environments which increases the impact and knowledge valorisation.

Drawn people figures standing, resting and doing sports activities.
Living Labs can empower us all! Pic: Jonne Renvall / Tampere University 

TAMK Living Lab in Action

TAMK implements several projects such as FUSILLI, LIFE-BECKON and SPOTLOG, where our main contribution is mainly on applied research, practical experimentations in real-life settings, and capacity building. With key members of ENoLL, such as Energy Living Lab by HESSO, Switzerland, we are also about to initiate a new project on Driving Urban Transition in 2024. In addition, we have excellent in-house platforms applying Living Lab methods such as SVL, Open Lab, Mediapolis and Catering Studio existing and emerging ones e.g. in circular economy.

Humans are responsible for many of the problems we are facing today. Making the change must therefore be a conscious decision on how to revise our opinions and behaviour. But doing it on an individual basis is not enough. We need collaborative structures and approaches such as Living Labs to engage all the stakeholders into the actions.

Next year’s edition of Open Living Labs Days 2024 will take place in the beautiful city of Timisoara, Romania. Stay tuned!

Author: Hanna-Greta Puurtinen, Senior Specialist, Project Management Office,


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