Living Lab is an action to promote and experiment with innovative ways processes aimed at solving social problems inherent to the areas of the S3 Calabria.
Living Lab is an action of the Calabria ROP ERDF 2014-202 that arises from the need to find innovative solutions to problems of social importance. The idea behind the Living Labs is the creation of open contexts, of design, experimentation and validation of new products and services. Users can interact and experience products and services by providing important feedback for their development and subsequent commercialization.
The action becomes more oriented to the real needs trying to bridge the gap between the product and the expectations of the beneficiaries.
The implementation path includes 3 phases.
PHASE 1: Detection of user needs through exploratory survey.
PHASE 2: Involvement of companies / research groups and end users for the implementation of co-design activities.
PHASE 3: Implementation of research and development projects aimed at prototyping and testing new products/services responding to the needs of specific user groups inherent to the areas of the S3 Calabria.
Stakeholders: companies, universities, public and private bodies (municipalities, provinces) and end users.

Resources needed

Budget per call: 2 milion euro funded by Calabria Regione. About 150 million euros a year to manage the Living Lab program. Beneficiaries of the call: micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and large enterprises. The human resources required to set up and to run the practice: average 2 resources.

Evidence of success

This practice has stimulated innovation by transferring research out of the labs to real-life contexts in which users have been engaged with a bottom-up strategy. Phase 1 constituted an important exploratory survey for the Calabria Region. The needs published on the platform are 275 expressed by 113 Municipalities/Institutes/Organizations. Phase2: 1 technical seminar, 1 public presentation.PHASE 3: 26 partnerships have participated and 6 projects of social importante have been funded to date.

Difficulties encountered

The main challenge encounteres to implement the practice is:
-Involvement of researchers, companies and end users in order to develop products / services of social utility.
-To generate entrepreneurial culture processes with researchers.

Potential for learning or transfer

Starting from a pilot survey, it was possible to collect the first innovation needs, presented on the project website:
For the first time, the real needs of the territories were collected. In a second, more exploratory step, it was possible to identify the additional social needs for innovation, thanks to listening to mayors, associations, third sector organizations. Representatives of the Calabrian administrations gave voice to the real needs of their territories, requesting the development of new technological solutions by companies and research organizations, pursuing and experimenting with a "quadruple helix" strategy.
Finally, the last phase of the path provided for the granting of financing to companies, in partnership with the representative bodies of the collective needs, have developed R & D projects aimed at testing and prototyping of new products, for the solution of emerging problems in the collection phase.
Main institution
Calabria region
Calabria, Italy (Italia)
Start Date
July 2018
End Date


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