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Call: Innovations in Cross-Border Living Lab Structures

The submission deadline for this call has passed
Application deadline
08.03.2010 16:00
Call update
Due to a technical problem with the electronic application form for Innovations in Cross-Border Living Lab Structures, the application deadline is extended to Monday, 8 March 2010, 16:00 (CET). Applicants are asked not to continue working on the section "project consortium". Instead this information should be sent to in a word-document. The template for this word-document will be provided to the applicants. We truly apologize about the inconvenience.
Full call title
Innovations in Cross-Border Living Lab Structures - Empowering Users in Real Life Settings
Call description

The Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA), The Danish Council for Strategic Research (DCSR), The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS), The Research Council of Lithuania (LMT) and The Research Council of Norway (RCN), in collaboration with NordForsk launch the call "Innovations in Cross-Border Living Lab Structures - Empowering Users in Real Life Settings", in order to exploit and establish the Living Labs concept, methodology and collaboration in the Nordic region. The call is part of the programme "A Nordic-Baltic research and innovation programme on Living Labs".

Eligible applicants are public and private entities, governmental agencies and research institutions.

The proposed duration of projects is 1 - 3 years.

Projects must represent an active collaboration of at least three actors - research, industry and public sector from minimum three of the funding countries.

During the most recent years, the field of User Driven Innovation (UDI) has intensified to include users in the creation and development process. Hence, it has become an important area for research and development, and a strategically chosen area in several countries, specifically in the EU. The Living Lab concept involves research, development and design, by, with and for users, and should thus enable prototyping of novel interaction concepts while resembling natural environments of use. For more details on the background of the Call, see Programme Description in the Appendix below.

The programme builds upon the potential of the Living Labs concept. Especially, it supports projects that are characterised by both research and innovation. It also creates effective interaction between research institutions, industry and public sector. Hence, it will generate environments and working methods which increase the competitiveness of organisations and enhance the user as an innovator.

The aim is to improve the conditions of peoples' everyday life, and contribute to sustainability - including environmental and societal aspects, and economical growth.

Key objectives of the call are to:
* Strengthen the knowledge and research on Living Labs and user-driven innovation in the Nordic-Baltic region.
* Establish and strengthen Living Labs' network, and making use of existing Living Labs.
* Develop new, innovative and highly appreciated products, services and concepts. Research and methods should be developed and implemented with practical impact on society.
* Create a platform supporting transnational Living Labs activities. This includes components such as: new constellations and partnerships; exchanged knowledge and experiences; and common resources, aiming to stimulate cooperation between research, industry and public sector, leading to improved work methods.
* Obtain a profound and publicly available knowledge on Living Labs and user-driven innovation; informing the development of new tools, methods and processes for active user centric contexts; strengthening the competitiveness of the Nordic innovation system.

The objectives could be reached by (i) building on and improving the work of existing Living Labs, (ii) actual research in Living Labs or research and innovation projects between existing Living Labs, and (iii) the establishment of new transnational Living Labs.

Definition of Living Labs Living Labs is defined as a forum for research and innovation applied to the development of new products, services and processes. It employs working methods to integrate people into the entire development process as users and co-creators and recognises the needs of users and the working conditions of service providers, both in their respective contexts.

The key components of a Living Lab are:
* Users - Those who actually use a product or service. This embraces end-users, consumers and companies/ organisations. For service development the term 'user' also includes active service providers.
* Structured working methods - Constituted by the appropriate methods, knowledge and expertise when involving users in their own environments for cooperation in the development process. These methods facilitate the creation of knowledge which is transferable to new areas and new markets.
* Organisational structure - The Living Lab environment is viewed as an innovation system. That is based on a sound strategic concept and fronted by suitable representatives with a significant role to play for long term objectives. The structure encompasses important stakeholders from the value chain.
* Technical platforms - Constituted by technological equipment to empower the user in the innovation process, or as enabling technologies for new products or services in order to facilitate the necessary communication between the user and the innovation system to obtain the view of the user.

Call update (26.02.2010): It is not possible to send attachments in the electronic application system. If you want to add figures and/or tables to your application, you can send them by e-mail to and CC to with the project title and application id as reference.

Economic framework

This call has a budget of MNOK 16.9 for the period 2010 - 2012. The funding of the individual projects will be in the range of MNOK 2 - 5 per project.

The proposed duration of projects is 1 - 3 years.

The call is funded with a common pot provided by the funding partners and administrated by NordForsk.

The general principle is that the funding must be used for activities supporting genuine Nordic cooperation.

In order to ensure cross-border cooperation the funded activities and project components in the different countries must be mutually dependent.

Eligible activities may comprise combinations of collaboration costs, such as:
* Costs for network activities, such as workshops, courses and seminars
* Travel expenses according to governmental rules of the home country
* Fellowships, such as PhDs, post docs and mobility grants. Private-public partnerships are encouraged
* Other personnel costs that will provide added value to the cooperation
* Joint R&I activities * Joint use of infrastructure
* Extra management costs
* Miscellaneous running costs that will provide added value to the cooperation

No funds in this call are intended to be used in the expansion of technical infrastructure.

For industrial/ end-user participants the general EU rules for industry funding apply.

Call conditions

Eligibility criteria
* Eligible applicants are public and private entities, governmental agencies and research institutions/ universities. Applicants, who are not from one of the funding countries, can be allowed to participate in projects on their own budget as long as the overall aim is to strengthen Living Labs within research, industry and public institutions in the Nordic countries.
* The project must represent an active collaboration of at least 3 actors - research, industry and public sector from a minimum of three of the funding countries. Projects and applicants from public and private sectors are welcomed, including educational, cultural and knowledge institutions. Project requirements
* The project must run for a period of 1 - 3 years.
* The project must concern the development of innovation technology, i.e., the experimentation with new technology which enhances innovation.
* The project must support creativity and innovation across the Nordic area with a high level of collaboration between actors, which includes sharing of knowledge with a high degree of user involvement.
* The project must support the development and sharing of working methods and means of interaction, where users are involved throughout the entire development process of the product or service in question. Applicant requirements
* The project team must be put together with relevant experiences, knowledge and educational background, to manage a research and innovation project.
* Applicants must provide a clear definition of their role in their respective national research and innovation system.
* The cooperation should be beneficial to all partners. It must be shown that the consortium has the relevant partners for the problem to be solved, multidisciplinary and across sectors.

Application and evaluation procedure
An international panel of experts will review the quality and potential impact of the project proposals and report to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will rank the proposals and give a final recommendation about funding to the NordForsk Board. The NordForsk Board makes the final decision about funding based on the external peer review process and the recommendation from the Steering Committee. Projects can start when the funding decisions have been made in June 2010 and contracts are signed.

Prior to the final submission deadline on 5 March 2010, applicants will have the opportunity to submit a 1-page outline proposal in order to receive comments for further developing their application. The comments will be given by the Steering Committee. No applications will be formally dismissed at this stage. The voluntary outline proposals should be sent as a pdf file to the Secretariat by 22 January 2010 at the latest. Please note that it is not compulsory to submit an outline proposal. Deadline for the Call Voluntary outline proposals must be submitted in pdf format no later than 16.00 CET on 22 January 2010 by e-mail to

Applications must be submitted electronically using the NordForsk Application Portal no later than 16.00 CET on 5 March 2010.

Applications have to be submitted in English.

Evaluation criteria

Quality of proposal
* Soundness and quality of aims
* Relevance to the call * Scientific quality
* Applicability and degree of innovativeness Implementation
* Competence of the applicants, project leader and project management
* Feasibility of the project in relation to the proposed resources, such as human resources, budget and timeframe
* Scalability of the project
* Ethical perspective, i.e., projects should follow good ethics
* Gender perspective, i.e., efforts should be made to increase the participation of the gender in minority
* The budget share of each partner should be of such nature that it represents a true cooperation
* Cross-sector cooperation, projects working in cross-sector consortiums are particularly encouraged

Intended outcome and potential impact
* Expected outcome
* Potential impact
* Level of ambition
* Dissemination and communication of results

National contact points

Danish Council for Strategic Research (DCSR)
Peer Tidemand-Petersson, Phone: +45 339 297 28,

The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNIS)
Thorvald Finnbjörnsson, Phone: +35 451 558 08,

The Recearch Council of Lithuania (LMT)
Andronè Ma?ulyt?, Phone: +370 5 261 9068,

The Research Council of Norway (RCN)
Xiuhua Zhang, Phone: +47 22 03 75 46,

Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems (VINNOVA)
Mattias Esbjörnsson, Phone: +46 847 332 93,

Max applied amount (NOK)
Decisions will be made by
June 2010
Responsible adviser

Senior adviser Maria Nilsson
Phone: +47 99 38 02 64

Responsible adviser

Senior adviser Susanna Sepponen
Phone: +47 994 17 720

NordForsk, Stensberggata 25, 0170 Oslo, Tlf: +47 476 14 400, E-post:, Organisasjonsnummer: 971 274 255