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Resources 2014, 3(3), 575-598; doi:10.3390/resources3030575

Exploring the Potential of a German Living Lab Research Infrastructure for the Development of Low Resource Products and Services

1
Wuppertal Institute for Climate Environment and Energy, Döppersberg 19, Wuppertal 42103, Germany
2
Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research ISI, Breslauer Straße 48, Karlsruhe 76139, Germany
3
Department of Design, Folkwang University of the Arts, Klemensborn 39, Essen 45239, Germany
4
Faktor 10–Institut für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften gemeinnützige GmbH, Alte Bahnhofstraße 13, Friedberg 61169, Germany
5
Fraunhofer-Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, Nobelstraße 12, Stuttgart 70569, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 14 June 2013 / Revised: 22 July 2014 / Accepted: 19 August 2014 / Published: 24 September 2014
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Abstract

Living Labs for Sustainable Development aim to integrate users and actors for the successful generation of low-resource innovations in production-consumption systems. This paper investigates potentials of and measures towards the realization of a German Living Lab infrastructure to support actor-integrated sustainability research and innovations in Germany. Information was primarily derived from extensive dialog with experts from the fields of innovation, sustainable development and the Living Lab community (operators, users, etc.), which was facilitated through interviews and workshops. A status quo analysis revealed that, generally, the sustainability and Living Lab communities are hardly intertwined. Twelve Living Labs that explicitly consider sustainability aspects were identified. The application fields “Living and Working”, “Town, Region and Mobility”, and “Retail and Gastronomy” were identified as particularly suitable for investigation in Living Labs and highly relevant in terms of resource efficiency. Based on the analyses of drivers and barriers and SWOT, keystones for the development of a research infrastructure for user integrated development of sustainable products and services were formulated. Suggested strategies and measures include targeted funding programs for actor-integrated, socio-technical research based on a Living Lab network, a communication campaign, and programs to foster networking and the inclusion of SMEs. View Full-Text
Keywords: Living Lab; user integration; innovation; sustainability; resources; resource efficiency; innovation system; research infrastructure Living Lab; user integration; innovation; sustainability; resources; resource efficiency; innovation system; research infrastructure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

von Geibler, J.; Erdmann, L.; Liedtke, C.; Rohn, H.; Stabe, M.; Berner, S.; Leismann, K.; Schnalzer, K.; Kennedy, K. Exploring the Potential of a German Living Lab Research Infrastructure for the Development of Low Resource Products and Services. Resources 2014, 3, 575-598.

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