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Pilot living labs at the JRC

Living labs integrate research and innovation processes in real life communities and settings.

Living labs are a modern way of creating user-centred environments that enable innovation, co-creation and start-up development.

Why living labs at the JRC?

The JRC aims to bring real added-value and innovation to the policy-making process. With living labs we want to co-create high-quality, policy-relevant and people-oriented solutions in particular with relation to smart cities. We want to share knowledge and best practice with regulators and public administrators, who are facing the challenges of implementing smart cities.

Testing under real-life conditions

Before putting new technologies and applications into practice, they need to be tested in real-life and controlled environments.

We are opening three of our research sites to host living labs:

Those sites simulate urban environments with a large number of

  • staff
  • buildings, roads and utilities
  • dedicated experimental facilities
  • high-speed communication networks

Knowledge for better policy-making

This testbed approach will advance scientific insight in

  • technology-related aspects (interoperability and robustness)
  • trust, user acceptance and user-feedback
  • behavioural changes induced by new technologies, solutions and social trends

This approach will help us provide better evidence for policy-making.

Pilot projects at the JRC

We have a number of ongoing pilot projects for smart city solutions with focus on digital energy and future mobility.

Future mobility solutions in Ispra and Geel

  • The JRC Ispra site acts as a technical verification and commissioning site and offers its Living Lab to the Horizon 2020 project SHOW (SHared automation Operating models for Worldwide adoption).
  • Co-design, testing and validation of an innovative social ride-sharing service able to connect people who have a social connection and travel on compatible routes.
  • Development, validation and demonstration of an electric and automated modular vehicle platform.
  • Validation and testing of an automated last mile delivery system for indoor and outdoor low contact services in real life conditions.
  • Development and testing of a software platform to seamlessly integrate different mobility alternatives to foster the uptake of sustainable transport modes.
  • Analysis of citizens expectations and concerns about new mobility solutions, including electric and automated vehicles, delivery droids and drones
  • Development and real-world testing of communication technologies for Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS); in particular, algorithms to generate Vulnerable Road Users awareness messages to increase road safety
  • Development and analysis of drones (in Ispra) and counter-drones technologies (in Geel)
  • Development of in-vehicle systems for indirect Structural Health Assessment and Monitoring of road infrastructures.

Digital energy solutions in Ispra and Petten

  • Test charging points for electric vehicles in real life collecting feedback from users’ behaviour
  • The deployment of IoT – based energy dashboards for office buildings to raise user awareness and engagement towards sustainable behaviours.
  • The development of serious games for sustainability and for renewable energy communities to build citizens awareness and engagement

Using the JRC Living Labs in a Horizon Europe project

For a selected number of Horizon Europe calls, applicants “can seek possibilities of involving the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) in order to valorise the relevant expertise and physical facilities of JRC in demonstrating and testing energy and mobility applications of the JRC Living Lab for Future Urban Ecosystems”. For more information about this possibility you can contact us.

Related content

21 MARCH 2023
JRC Future Mobility Solutions Living Lab (FMS-Lab): conceptual framework, state of play and way forward

Introductory video about the Future Mobility Solutions Living Lab (FMS-Lab)

Through the FMS-Lab, we are gathering data that gives a wide picture of citizens’ concerns and desires of the future mobility.
European Union, 2022

Gamification for environmental sustainability

The gamification for environmental sustainability is a collaborative and interactive experience. The game aims to to identify actions to reduce environmental impact. Participants work in teams to compete with each other. The game lasts up to 3 hours. Through gameplay, participants can find possible solutions to

  • reduce energy consumption at the workplace
  • save energy in buildings
  • use energy efficient appliances
  • encouraging behavioural changes among employees

The toolkit provides the source code. It allows to replicate the "gamification for environmental sustainability".

Download the toolkit (github)


Any questions, please email JRC-livinglabsatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (subject: Inquirey%20regarding%20living%20labs%20at%20the%20JRC) (JRC-livinglabs[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)