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Advanced Pilots of Living Labs Operating in Networks (APOLLON)
Start date: Nov 1, 2009, End date: May 31, 2012 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The APOLLON project proposal addresses the call of the European Commission to pilot and share best practices in cross-border Living labs networks. The core focus of Living Labs is to improve the R&D process by early participation and clustering of end users and business stakeholders, including SMEs. APOLLON will demonstrate the positive impacts of collaborative cross-border Living Lab networking by setting up an advanced pilot composed of 4 thematically focused Living Lab experiments.The Living Lab concept has been widely acknowledged, accepted and used as an effective approach to improve the R&D cycle. It is paramount to ensure that the main strength of local implantation does not also constitute a significant weakness in terms of the general applicability, validity and robustness of Living Lab test results, of providing SMEs with access to other European national markets and of offering the scale needed for pan-European product and service innovation. This brings forward an urgent need for hands-on experiences with intensive networking, cross-comparison and scaling up of local LL initiatives.The exchange of generic, high-level principles and best practices for Living Lab implementation is now being addressed in a number of national and European projects. The next step is to implement a much more detailed analysis of user, market and technology characteristics and an economically more valuable mode of experimentation, by networking, comparing and scaling up cross-border networks of thematically focused, 'vertical' Living Labs in a number of crucial lead markets.The APOLLON approach leverages past experiences and investments to supplement cross-border pilots of best of class methods for setting up, developing and sustainable operation of Living Labs. A main focus will be on SMEs that have or need access to other European national markets and providing the scale needed for pan-European product or even for global service innovation.
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