LIVING LAB AS AN ELEMENT OF THE SMART CITY ECOSYSTEM
Kraków Living Lab is a platform for testing products and services in the conditions they are actually used, that is within the city tissue composed of streets, squares, parks, municipal transport, etc., especially in areas related to the smart city. The testing process follows a structured, iterative method from concept, via prototype, to the implementation proper. In the living lab model, the end user is a codesigner rather than only the recipient of the solution.
This is a joint project of the Kraków Technology Park (KTP) and the Municipal Office of Kraków initiated in 2013 thanks to the accession to the European Network of Living Labs (ENOLL).
In 2015 Kraków Living Lab received ENOLL accreditation, becoming one of Poland’s two certified living lab centres.
Who is Kraków Living Lab for?
- for local businesses and start-ups, where the process of co-creation, and testing of product usability and validation is subject to numerous external factors (e.g. lack of own R&D facilities). The KTP has tested the products of Kraków start-ups, HG Intelligence and Kontakt.io, a Warsaw environment gathered around Exposed start-up, and the initiative of the Wytwórnia co-work from Kraków’s district of Zabłocie represented by BIM Lab
- for large companies, when what they need are specific, narrow groups of customers; for Comarch SA, we ran tests of the Aplikacja Pielgrzym (Pilgrim App): a mobile platform developed for the participants of the World Youth Days in Kraków.
A characteristic feature of the living lab method is the maximum reduction of the distance between technology developer and its final/end users. Offering living lab service, we let enterprises work on products and services together with their future clients, that is to co-create them. We do this in cooperation with the Municipality of Kraków, institutions of higher education, and other partners. Businesses submit products and services for testing and optimisation to receive professional support at the stage of conducting tests and evaluating their results.
There are plenty of ways to implement the living lab methodology, beginning from smart city (our specialty!), via the games sector and mobile telephony, to management and technological processes in businesses. The living lab process can extend over products from TRL 3 up to TRL 8, that is from the proof of concept level to an implemented prototype.
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