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Nordic Network of User-Driven Innovation and Livinglabbing

  • Publisert 21.02.2011
How to manage innovation: A new online toolbox for user driven innovation and Living Labs guides you on how to set up, manage, evaluate and govern multi-stakeholder networks.

Involvement of the end-users in the design phase of products and services is the key factor for improving of market potentials and anwering customers’ expectations. Nordic Innovation Centre has supported establishment of the Nordic Network of User-Driven Innovation and Living Labbing.


The network has been coordinated by a core academic group in close interaction with companies and public sector covering activities on local as well as on national levels. Comparison between most successful Nordic cases in engagement of users through the entire value chain process resulted in creation of optimized Nordic Living Lab with connection to the similar European models. The success of Living Lab depends on active sharing of information between key stakeholders through open innovation platform.


As a result of this project user involvement has moved from being small-scale and separate initiatives to a higher degree of cooperation and coordination. This will lead to improved applicability of a Living Lab concept in the Nordic region and stronger connections to the EU networks. The communities involved in this collaboration are committed to continue sharing knowledge and developing the research area. The project strengthens the position of the Nordic countries as a leading region for practicing of user-driven open innovation.


What is a Living Lab?

Living Lab networks can be defined as managed collaboration networks (as opposite to self-organizing networks), which feature internal transparency and direct communication. Members of a network collaborate and share knowledge directly with each other, rather than through hierarchies. They come together with a shared vision because they are intrinsically motivated to do so and seek to collaborate in some way to advance an idea or a concept.

A virtual Living Lab toolbox

Identified challenges in Living Lab network creation and management include the need for a specific Living Lab research infrastructure and commonly agreed methodology and terminology at the European level. Over 50 events were organized during the project in order to create a wide knowledge base and sharing of best practices and methods between the project core partners and beyond. The benchmarking and knowledge sharing culminates in the creation of the virtual methodology toolbox, which can be found online at

Systematically applied methodologies and supporting tools provide companies and organizations with a controlled environment for collecting, modeling, analyzing and storing qualitative user generated data in various contextual settings, and thus further develop their services, as well as speed up product adaptation through relevant market communications and campaigns. In this context we define „tools‟ in the broad sense of the term to include any media used for systematically collecting user inputs, collaborating and analyzing the results. The tools include virtual online tools, as well as templates, questionnaires and artifacts.

A platform for systemic innovation

Sustainable methodology and research infrastructure is a prerequisite for distributing innovation through the value chain. User driven open innovation tools can be considered as a platform for interactions, co-creation and feedback, or wider, as a vehicle for broad social, economic and institutional transformations.

The Toolbox has been co-compiled by the project consortium and the Nordic Network for User-driven Innovation and Living Labs in collaboration with the other related Nordic projects. This tool box collects together the findings and learning accumulated during the ENoLL Nordic project.


The toolbox includes basic definitions and descriptions of user driven open innovation process and related concepts, as well as articulates the benefits and limitations of the approach. Furthermore, the toolbox gives an overview of the end-to-end process of setting up, managing, evaluating and governing multi-stakeholder networks. First of its kind open access toolbox, it also features successful Living Lab cases and contact points for further information and instructions.

In the toolbox, user driven open innovation tools are presented as a platform for systemic innovation, and an environment for engaging and empowering users in co-creation process with the developer‟s community. The target stage is to enable a creative innovation environment where ideas and knowledge move freely. Effective tools enable leveraging knowledge and managing relationships in sustainable co-creation process.


The European Network of Living Labs - networking website



Project participants


Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR), Helsinki School of Economics
Petra Turkama (Project co-ordinator)
Project Creation Manager
Kari Mikkelä
Senior Research Fellow


Center for Distance-spanning Technology, Luleå University of Technology
Annika Sällström
Project Manager
Social Informatics, Luleå University of Technology
Anna Ståhlbröst


Norwegian University of Science and Technology
John Krogstie


Value Leap
Jacob Jaskov
Owner & Director

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