Product Validation in Health – project for Living Labs from the Baltic Sea Region

Oamk SimLab of Oulu University of Applied Sciences (OUAS) is one of the Finnish partners in Product Validation in Health (ProVaHealth). Fourteen Living Labs from eight Baltic Sea Region (BSR) countries participate in this project that was launched in autumn 2017.

Oulu University of Applied Sciences belongs to the OuluHealth ecosystem, one of the five Oulu Innovation Alliance ecosystems. The university supports introduction of innovations to the health sector, for example, by offering SMEs a versatile simulation and studio environment, Oamk SimLab, for health product development.

Living Labs (LLs) are user-centred, open innovation ecosystems that integrate research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership collaboration. The main idea is to create, prototype, validate, and test new technologies, services, products, and systems in real-life contexts. LLs help companies commercialize and scale up their solutions for global markets.

Methods and main outcomes

The project started with a review of methodology for health Living Labs in order to analyse the development needs and processes of the partner LLs. The next step is to provide a toolbox developed by OUAS for the Living Labs to self-asses their status, monitor progress and quality. It will provide recommendations for development of various phases of the Living Labs as well as enable validation and improvement of sustainable business models. The toolbox will be available on the project website.

Concrete increase of capacities will take place in ProVaHealth partner Living Labs during the project. Best practices and development experiences will be shared with other Living Labs from the BSR through ScanBalt and European Network of LivingLabs (ENoLL) during workshops.The final workshop will be held in Oulu in November 2019. All the Living Labs that take part in the project will achieve concrete results in 3-5 subareas, such as:

  • services offered in the BSR
  • client profile and needs
  • stakeholder involvement
  • every day activities
  • team and organization
  • financial plan
  • impact assessment
  • concept for transnational Living Lab cooperation

Moreover, a transnational service process for innovative health products and services for SMEs will be developed, tested and monitored to ensure that the Living Labs are ready to serve SMEs from other countries. The piloting process will be monitored and assessed by the partnership, and the assessment results will enable the Living Labs to further improve their services and adapt them to the needs of transnational validation processes.

The improvement of the LLs will be benchmarked in the project consortium. The Living Lab that makes most successful improvements will be awarded a prize.

It is expected that this learning process will lead to substantial improvements in business models, management structures and long-term economic sustainability of the involved LLs.


Contact persons

Tiina Tervaskanto-Mäentausta
Senior Lecturer at Oulu University of Applied Sciences

Minna Vanhanen
Senior Lecturer at Oulu University of Applied Sciences

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