Several Nordic cities construct and use urban living labs to become smarter, more sustainable and more liveable. Through living labs, the cities can work with startups and smaller companies that lack the proper testing infrastructure to test and develop solutions in real-life settings.
Living labs can help accelerate business and help cities find solutions to their challenges more rapidly and is considered an important tool in attracting companies and investments to cities and regions. For companies, they help them access new markets and develop innovative solutions tailored to its customer’s needs.
With funding from Nordic Innovation, the 14 Nordic cities in the Nordic Smart City Network have created the Nordic Urban Living Labs project to develop ‘best practices’ for living labs and urban development and strengthen the collaboration efforts between Nordic cities. By promoting Nordic urban development solutions, they hope to attract global investments.
At least five innovative projects
The goal is to establish a minimum of five innovative projects in five different Nordic cities, where the cities themselves will run an innovation process that lead up to testing in the relevant living lab.
Kaisa Spilling, Development Manager at Forum Virium Helsinki, believes the project will create major positive benefits for the participating cities and Nordic companies.
“Through the creation of collaborations and stronger networks between the Nordic cities, startups, scale-ups and other companies will be part of a larger platform where they can share knowledge between them and set up opportunities for future collaborations. This way, we can help spread ‘best practices’ within the Nordic region which will ultimately strengthen our global attractiveness.”, says Spilling.
You can find all the Nordic Urban Living Labs in this interactive map.
Showcasing at global events
Each innovation process in the project will be closely followed by two to five cities who will share knowledge as they go along. In addition, the participating cities will help map out the existing living labs and co-creation ecosystems found in the Nordic region to collaborate and more easily recognise relevant test beds for companies – both from the Nordics and abroad.
The solutions developed in this project are planned to be showcased at Nordic pavilions across different events such as the Barcelona Smart City Expo, NY Smart City and Nordic Edge in Stavanger.
Furthermore, the companies involved in solving the urban challenges defined by the participating cities are well positioned to participate in the second wave of Nordic export ventures in new urban markets across North America, India and China.
The 14 Nordic cities that are involved in the Nordic Smart City Network are:
Backed by the Nordic prime ministers
The Nordic Urban Living Lab project is funded by Nordic Innovation through Nordic Sustainable Cities to showcase and export Nordic solutions to urban sustainable development challenges.
Nordic Sustainable Cities is one of six flagship projects under the Nordic prime ministers’ initiative Nordic Solutions to Global Challenges, which is coordinated by the Nordic Council of Ministers.