FinEst Centre Living Lab

FinEst Centre Living Lab (FinEst Lab) is the open innovation platform of FinEst Centre for Smart Cities. More generally it is a user-centered, open innovation ecosystem that is based on systematic user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes with real life communities and settings. At FinEst Lab, our goal is to develop the essential building blocks for smart and open cities of the future by connecting the FinEst Centre’s research and innovation activities to its local, national and macro-regional public-private ecosystems.

FinEst Lab creates interaction - based on co-creation and open innovation processes - by engaging public and private organizations (especially SMEs and start-ups) and local communities in an open network. This results in creating sustainable wealth and boosting the local economy. Through the FinEst Lab, the entire twin-city region is gradually turned into an open testbed for research and innovation. When our members are developing their concepts from ideas to reality, the FinEst Lab supports their innovation process via R&I projects, societal challenges, Hackathons and growth support activities.

For the FinEst Centre, FinEst Lab is a valuable tool for conducting research and innovation activities in real-life settings, and a focused channel for sharing knowledge within the Finnish-Estonian innovation ecosystem. The FinEst Lab gives particular focus on technology transfer activities for start-ups and SMEs. Commonly these target groups are underperforming with regards to research activities, and greatly benefit by these types of action. FinEst Lab is run with the initial strong support of the cities of Tallinn and Helsinki, and it will expand to include other Estonian cities, over time.

FinEst Lab combines world-class research with a vibrant entrepreneurial scene. It operates in close collaboration with the public sector which supports and promotes agile piloting of new technologies. In practice this means validating innovative prototypes and service solutions in real life and cross-border settings with the involvement of citizens, developers and additional stakeholders. This approach is of particular importance to empower entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs to compete globally. Also, this unique way of collaborating is a valuable tool  to larger companies and it enriches research by collecting vast amounts of data and opening up new research avenues.