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The Mediterranean Agrifood Capacity Center (MACC) presents the Living Labs

In the dynamic landscape of innovation, Living Labs have emerged as incubators of creativity, where theoretical concepts ideally merge with real-world applications. A Living Lab is not just a physical space; it is a collaborative approach that transcends traditional research and development models. These environments function as living ecosystems, reflecting the complexity of everyday life, providing fertile ground for co-creation and testing of cutting-edge solutions.

[By Gianna Balafouti]

At its core, a living lab is a node of interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together researchers, businesses, governmental entities, and end-users in a common, realistic pursuit. Emphasizing authenticity, these labs replicate real conditions, ensuring that developed solutions are not confined to design but rigorously tested in environments that mimic the challenges of the real world.

Science, policy, industry, society, and the environment in the service of innovation.

The concept of co-creation is crucial in Living Labs. They follow the quadruple-helix model, involving collective efforts among researchers, businesses, government bodies, and end-users in developing and testing solutions. This collaborative approach ensures that diverse knowledge contributes catalytically to the more effective application of innovation.

Application in a real environment is a fundamental principle.

The fundamental principles of Living Labs revolve around creating an open, user-centric, and collaborative environment that fosters innovation. The central idea of living labs is to reproduce authentic, real conditions for testing and developing solutions. This ensures that scientific research is not confined to controlled, protected environments but subject to the complexities and challenges of the real market or social framework.

User involvement at the heart of Living Labs.

Living Labs prioritize active participation of end-users throughout the process. By including the perspectives, needs, and feedback of end-consumers, solutions are more likely to adapt to real-world requirements and, if feasible, ultimately become entrenched.

Interdisciplinary collaboration for problem-solving.

Interdisciplinary collaboration promotes a holistic approach to innovation implementation and problem-solving, achievable only through connecting researchers, specialists, and stakeholders from various fields such as technology, design, social sciences, and entrepreneurship.

Easier access to funding.

Living Labs embrace innovation principles, encouraging funders and interested parties to participate in all stages of the process. This transparency not only allows but also seeks to promote the diversity of ideas, expertise, and perspectives which, when collaborating, contribute to the development of effective solutions.

Continuous learning, sustainability, and scalability.

Living labs operate on a iterative model, emphasizing continuous learning and adaptation. Continuous support and feedback from real-world testing allow for improvements and fine-tuning of research over time. After all, solutions are not designed just to address immediate challenges; instead, they must be sustainable and scalable for broader application.

At the Academy of Athens, the 1st InfoLab of the European Living Labs.

On Friday, January 19, 2024, the 1st InfoLab of the European Living Labs was held, hosted at the Sotiranos Ephesios Building of the Athens Academy Research Center. It was a joint effort of ENoLL - European Network of Living Labs, the Athena Research Center, the Laboratory of Medical Physics and Digital Innovation of the Medical School of AUTH, the VITALISE Project – Virtual Health & Wellbeing Living Lab Infrastructure, the Hellenic Institute of Transport, and the RAISE Science.

For the first time in Greece, successful living lab cases already being implemented and in progress were presented at the conference. Among other things, the value of the fifth helix, which concerns the environment, was discussed - that is, the place where innovation is applied, which can be a hospital, a park, a school, an organized tourist area, or even cultivable land.

MACC presented the innovative MACC – SOIL initiative.

The Mediterranean Agronomic Competence Center (MACC), as a new member of the European Living Labs, presented the innovative MACC-SOIL initiative designed for the Mediterranean region. It is a holistic and collaborative approach to finding solutions and addressing soil degradation issues.

The MACC-SOIL initiative represents a revolution in soil management practices aimed at achieving holistic approaches that will lead to sustainable health, resilience, and ultimately the preservation of the environment in the region of Crete and the Southeastern Mediterranean in general.

For more information about Living Labs and MACC-SOIL, visit is using cookies!

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