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Living Lab research concept in Rural Areas


Report on the development of territorial guidelines

Given the steps completed before, the practical guideline for the concrete implementation of the Regional Circular Living Lab Approach is the natural outcome of this WP. The guideline will contain step – by – step the procedure for implementing the new approach in the piloting areas in close cooperation with the piloting area partners, including regional stakeholders’ involvement and feedback; therefore, one regionally adapted guideline will be developed for one piloting area, for a total of 13 regions.

Report on the round tables

The aim of this first task is to firstly gather needs and challenges of the entrepreneurs present in the piloting territories. The high variety of entrepreneurs and piloting areas allow to have a representative sample of what rural businesses require and need; there is no doubt that platform already developed for cities and urban areas are not suitable for adaptation, since need, challenges and requirements are intrinsically different. In this perspective, on round table will be held in every piloting areas and entrepreneurs will be interviewed according to a pre-elaborated questionnaire. The questions will be aimed to target precisely the needs and the requirements of the business man without running the risks of losing important details. Discussion on the outcomes will be also held.

Mass Media Campaign

A Mass Media Campaign will include the creation of the LIVERUR registered trademark, as corporative image for the project, developing sense of ownership not only by the consortium members, but by final users and beneficiaries. This trademark will be designed within a contest developed during the first steps of the LIVERUR project, between the participant entities and organizations involved in all WPs. As part of the media campaign, the following actions will be implemented: o At least 250 Publication in Newspapers and magazines o At least 50 Press releases in all consortium partner organizations’ countries with outputs o 6 e – newsletter addressed to beneficiaries of the LIVERUR actions in all partner languages o 1500 Brochures, booklets, flyers coinciding with main milestones of the project (kick – off meeting, local open days about the project, etc…) o At least 200 Radio & Television interviews involving LIVERUR staff and representatives, as the Advisory Board Members.

Report on the multi – modal approach for including circular approaches utilizing system dynamics

This task is devoted to the creation of a multi – modal approach in order to better integrate circular component into living lab business models identified in task 4.1. Based on WP2 results and task 4.1 outcomes and with the utilization of system dynamics analysis, it will be possible to create a roadmap able to include circular economy and living lab elements in the 1 or 2 business models identified for every piloting areas.

Report of Analysis of the implementation challenges

Rural living labs as experimentation environments based on dialogue are also mechanisms to discover and bridge gaps and to create change. In order to monitor and compare the various rural living labs as innovation mechanisms, the socio-technical systems view on information systems change provides a useful framework, distinguishing between “building system” and “work system” and describing the dynamics of these systems in terms of interactions between tasks, actors, technologies , structures , legal and institutional barriers and financing opportunities . Extending the framework, T3.3 will make analysis between three different and interacting systems that comprise the view of living labs as part of socio- technical change in rural areas : (1) The living lab innovation system; (2) The living lab building system; (3) The rural development system.

Circular Rural Business Hub: data base for piloting and stakeholders’ involvement

Taking a Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) approach, the LIVERUR project will use the Living Labs and Co-creation methodologies to gather and involve all the relevant stakeholders in a Public-Private-People Partnership (PPPP) in the Piloting Actions. The effectiveness of the Piloting Actions implementation is very much dependent on the partnerships developed and on the involvement and cooperation of the various stakeholders for which one of the 13 piloting regions. The first step for the piloting Implementation is the analysis of the territories from a holistic view on their entrepreneurial characteristics and on their participation characteristics in order to have the idea of which participatory methodologies best suit. To successfully implement the piloting territories LIVERUR consortium will proceed with: (i) Identification of the rural activities for which of the 13 piloting territories; (ii) Stakeholders survey on type, interests, different knowledge levels and needs; (iii) Co-creation and other stakeholder’ involvement techniques and communication material, based on the knowledge acquired in task 3.3.

Social Media Campaign

A Social Media Campaign (SMC): a team of technicians will be directly working with the most influencing social networks in the rural sector, as Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. While the coordination of the campaign will be handled by WP7 leader, UCAM, the technical implementation will be done under the tool developed by WP6 team. Before the definitive launching of the tool, the WP7 leader will be responsible for saving and recording all the social media news, information, videos, etc… created under the LIVERUR Project umbrella and addressed to the direct and indirect beneficiaries of the project. The activities will be implemented, starting in M9 (first output of the project, D.3.1. Report of Case Studies on Rural Living Lab’s Definition) and ending in M36, with the final dissemination event (Milestone MS…).

IRP Strategy

IPR Policy To safeguard project Intellectual Property Rights, without decreasing the impact of the project results within the wider community, it is important to find the right balance between public information and private information – both as inputs to the project and as dissemination content or for later reuse. Thus, as part of the project, the knowledge produced will be continually tracked and registered to the respective owner. 1. Input: On input knowledge provided to the project the consortium partners will ensure that all existing knowledge that is required for proper execution of LIVERUR, will become available to all relevant partners. The provisions on protection of Intellectual Property will be established in detail in the consortium agreement. It will specify conditions (e.g., non-disclosure, confidentiality) on how existing knowledge that belongs to a consortium partner will become available to the other consortium partners. 2. Output: Concerning output generated by the project IPRs on the results of the project will be protected by an Exploitation Agreement signed by the Consortium via the Consortium Agreement. A preliminary agreement on IPRs has already been reached by the Consortium partners. The agreement, in alignment with the policies and context for EU funded projects, specifies how and under which terms and conditions partners get access to existing and created IP owned and generated by other partners and also specifies the terms and conditions of access to such IP in the case of exploitation beyond the scope and duration of the project. If appropriate the consortium members will apply to issue patents. The agreement will cover the specification of the types of intellectual properties, handling of different types of intellectual properties, mechanisms to identify and to brand intellectual properties, and definition of the roles of the partners and the individual usage rights of the intellectual properties. In particular, it will regulate: Identification of project results Confidentiality of project results Ownership of the project results Ownership of pre-existing know-how and refinements thereof Knowledge property transfer Access rights to and licenses for use of project results Dissemination strategy for restricted results Because of the nature of the envisaged project results, it is necessary to establish a clear distinction between background and foreground knowledge. The former represent the intellectual and technical basis provided by the innovator partners, especially R&I performers, on top of which the results are developed. The latter represents the additional knowledge coming from the specific project activities. In synthesis, the intellectual property of the background knowledge remains to the single partner providing it. Concerning foreground knowledge, intellectual property belongs to R&I performers, while exploitation rights over ICT tools belong to developers. The exploitation agreement will finally regulate the rights of mediators for preferential use of project results and new future versions, as well as royalty policy for commercial exploitation. The LIVERUR project open strategy targets at maximum impact of the project results, so that the default ruling is that results are free and open. The ruling will be different only where this is explicitly required by the legitimate explicit interests of LIVERUR partners. In particular, although defining solutions that are independent of the development technology, the project pays particular attention to favour the use of open source environments and is mandated for all developments that come directly from the R&I work carried out by universities and research institutions. For commercial partners the choice is open. LIVERUR will allow external partners to develop, the LIVERUR Open Platform, a website but a mean also to promote and create material on how LIVERUR results can be further used. Intellectual Property Rights Before the proj

Report on identified weaknesses and challenges

The identification of weakness and challenges is crucial in order to depict the potential for new business strategies in rural context. In this perspective, LIVERUR capitalizes the effort done in conceptualizing and benchmarking the existing models utilizing the outcome to identify challenges and weakness that might not be evident at a first look. This task is specifically developed in order to overcome structural and conceptual challenges of existing models when it comes to build and picture a totally new value creation mechanism.

Feasibility assessment report on LCA & LCC

As well as the economic viability of new value chains for agri-food wastes, evaluating the environmental performance is crucial in determining the suitability and ultimate realisation of potential pathways. Life cycle assessment (LCA) methodology is one tool that can be used to assess the potential environmental impact of a product or system against its comparator. LCA is planned to be used predominantly to assess the environmental implications of a system but social LCA and life cycle costing are becoming more prevalent, allowing for a holistic analysis of policy implications. Environmental LCAs and Life Cycle Cost (LCC) assessments will be performed by LIVERUR Consortium, and will include all the techno-economic aspects of the technologies to confirm their cost effectiveness, as well as issues such as efficiencies, consumptions, and the ability to recover and reuse materials.

Report on the creation of the benchmarking study

WP2 final task is depicted by the creation of the first LIVERUR milestone: the benchmarking study on rural traditional business models in Europe. This study will be a fruitful exercise for entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs to-be in rural context that will utilize this study in order to improve and renovate their business activities.

Report on benchmarking criteria creation

In this task, the consortium identify the weights to be attached to the criteria of analysis in order to create a benchmarking scale. Given the fact that different weight will lead to different results, the task plead partner will take care of following standardize protocols in the assessment, to the aim of creating an outcome which is understandable and justifiable at a Pan – European scale.

Report on Development of innovative models

As the Rural Business as usual simply or linear cannot continue or cannot be sustainable for mid- and long term, therefore the local and regional governments, business support organisations, companies and civil or professional non-profit organisations are looking for alternative approaches to drive future growth in their territories. T3.5 will develop an integration technique for all the actors in existing territorial rural business areas to a transition into the circular economy. In the middle of the business will be the Consumer and all the aspects of the Sustainability in the Circular Economy: 1. Circular Supplies: Provide renewable energy, bio based- or fully recyclable input, material to replace single-lifecycle inputs 2. Resource Recovery: Recover useful, resources/energy out of disposed, products or by-products 3. Product Life Extension: Extend working lifecycle of products and components by repairing, upgrading and reselling ,4. Sharing Platforms: Enable increased utilization rate of products by making possible shared use/access/ownership ,5. Product as a Service: Offer product access and retain ownership to internalize benefits of circular resource productivity 6. Emerging Business model in the circular economy as a Rural Circular Economy framework.

Benchmarking of traditional value vs platform based living lab concept

Piloting partners will bring feedback from the territories as well as best practices examples. T3.4 will benchmark all the actors involved in living labs innovation, including researchers, users, developers and other stakeholders enter a social relationship. What is the main difference between the innovative but traditional value-chain (linear approach) and the platform circular economy based approaches in the rural circular living labs? The living lab operating as an innovation system should be balanced with the process of initiating and building the living lab conditions (the living lab building system), and with the dynamically changing characteristics of the rural socio-economic development system. Both systems (linear and platform based) could potentially reinforce each other to support the development of a broad, self-sustainable innovation facility. The differences and similarities will be demonstrated by the Loan and Platform based Business Model Canvas based on interviews and small workshops in T3.4.

Mid-term Practice Abstract

Production of a mid-term Practice Abstract with the intention of broad dissemination corresponding to the EIP-AGRI standards.

Report of existing business model in EU countries and regions

The analysis will be performed according primarily to the four LIVERUR pillars: 1) Environment and Resilience, 2) Resource efficiency – efficacy and management, 3) Competitiveness of SMAEs and rural value – chain, 4) Openness to new markets and technologies. There is no doubt that other criteria will be utilized as well to benchmark the different business models, criteria such as job creation, social inclusiveness of vulnerable stakeholders, gender equality etc.. The analysis will be performed according to two strategies: 1) desk research (scientific/other literature review, implemented EU projects, national initiatives, etc..), 2) in – depth and in – field interviews. LIVERUR will finally analyse an amount of business models equal to 60.

Report of Case studies on rural living lab`s definitions

This task summarizes by few Cases studies how living labs are differentiated on the basis of three main characteristics (Almirall and Wareham, 2008): user involvement, real-life contexts, and public-private-people partnership (PPPP). The outcome is a clear and standardize definition of Living Lab concept. Given the fact that the intrinsic nature of LL is participatory, the task will be built strongly with a bottom-up approach.

Report of “Mapping the living lab technique”

Our early phase actions were aimed to ensure that these local conditions were addressed properly. It should be taken into account that besides the fact that our rural areas were very different in terms of business cases and stakeholders, most were characterized by various economic conditions, infrastructure is lacking, ageing population and low level of innovation culture in rural & remote & mountain areas and islands. Therefore a mix of strategies, tailored to local conditions, has been chosen to launch, develop and operate the living labs.

Report on the generation of the concept of Regional Circular Living Lab Approach in rural areas

Once the suitable business models have been identified (task 4.1) and the merging of the circular and living lab techniques have been formalized by the means of system dynamics methodologies (task 4.2), LIVERUR is ready to conceptualize this new hybrid model: Regional Circular Living Lab Approach (RAIN). This task therefore covers the creation and conceptualization of the new approach in terms of definition, applicability, formalization, involved parties, allocation of responsibilities, chronological sequences etc.

Report on the suitable business models identified for each piloting territory

On the basis of WP2 results in this task, the crucial outcome is the identification of the suitable (sustainable and resilient) rural business model connected to the living lab concept. This will be achieved by applying WP3 results for a categorisation of the WP2 business models. The research innovation of the living lab approach provides an underlying baseline for business model development which is totally at odds with traditional business modelling (for example, stakeholders business orientation and end – user participatory design are at heart of this new technique, while they are barely considered by more traditional approaches). However, given the diversity of the territories and the value chain mechanisms both inside and outside LIVERUR, the consortium is well aware that one-strategy-fits-all method is not possible in this case. This is the reason why LIVERUR identifies for every territory 1 or maximum 2 suitable business models coherent with the living lab technique highlighted in WP3, but unique in his own way.

Data Management Plan

This document provides the plan for managing the data generated and collected during the project to make sure that the research data are findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) It covers: a) the handling of research data during and after the project, b) what data will be collected, processed or generated, c) what methodology and standards will be applied, d) whether data will be shared/made open and how and e) how data will be curated and preserved The DMP will be updated over the course of the project whenever significant changes arise, such as: - new data - changes in consortium policies (e.g. new innovation potential, decision to file for a patent) - changes in consortium composition and external factors (e.g. new consortium members joining or old members leaving). - The DMP will be updated as a minimum in time with the periodic evaluation/assessment of the project. The LIVERUR DMP through its deliverable D.1.7. will comply with the requirements of the ORDP: Open Research Data Pilot set by the EC for the H2020 call.


Living Labs for Rural Areas: Contextualization of Living Lab Frameworks, Concepts and Practices

Author(s): Veronika Zavratnik, Argene Superina, Emilija Stojmenova Duh
Published in: Sustainability, Issue 11/14, 2019, Page(s) 3797, ISSN 2071-1050
DOI: 10.3390/su11143797