Northern Connections

In short, a sustainable energy Living Lab is a real demonstration project with actual industry investments, technologies and experts.

07 April 2017 - Published by Christina Knudsen

But is not a demonstration project, that is static and limited to its existing partners or topics. It must still be open to invite new experts, address its todays or future challenges to a transnational SME consortium and constantly strive for further improvement.

In Long, there today are little opportunities for SMEs to become integral part of innovative projects in cities and regions, since solutions for the local challenges are not pooled amongst the SMEs in the whole North-Sea region. In this project SMEs receive access towards an early phase of developing a pool of solutions towards these often public, but also private challenges. They are made accessible in open-solution pitches i.e. world-café workshops starting 2018. Through the participation in these workshops throughout the North-Sea region this will create a true market place. At the same time the solution pooling rises resource, cost and target efficiency in the future public procurement. There will be Joint learning effects in the public entities and enterprises for cross-sectoral projects and future Living Labs. Also the transregional SME partnerships strengthen the value chains and close individual knowledge gaps through joint ideation and market testing.

An example for an existing Living Lab is SMART PORT HAMBURG, where the public and private sector cooperate, invest, build and plan a sustainable energy system. Big challenge is the smart digitalization of traffic to cut down emissions, while the port accounts for over 30 % in our Hamburg City. There are many more of such examples from all participating regions and cities, that can make a difference.