Living Labs as boundary-spanners between Triple Helix actors

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Living labs are an increasingly popular methodology to enhance innovation. Living labs aim to span boundaries between different organizations, among others Triple helix actors, by acting as a network organization typically in a real-life environment to foster co-creation by user-groups. This paper presents critical factors of Living labs in boundary-spanning between Triple Helix actors. Derived from a mixed-method approach and applications in the healthcare sector, the three main critical factors turn out to be 1) an adequate user-group selection and involvement, specifically a rich interaction and absorption of its results, 2) a balanced involvement of all relevant actors, and 3) a sufficient (early) attention for values, both values of user-groups and values of the management. People-oriented Living labs tend to differ from institution-oriented Living labs regarding these critical factors. Further, universities tend to take on diverse roles and strength of involvement, while the business sector tends to be actively involved only if this has been set as an explicit aim at start. The paper closes with a summary and future research paths.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-97
JournalJournal of Contemporary Eastern Asia
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • triple helix
  • living labs
  • boundary-spanning
  • user-groups
  • co-creation


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