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Marina van Geenhuizen and Nick Guldemond

This chapter studies living labs as a methodology of user-centric innovation. The focus is on sustainability in healthcare and increasing efficiency, affordability and inclusiveness. The real-life environments are residential homes for elderly people, hospitals and a shopping mall, the latter as an example of increasing accessibility for wheelchairs. The chapter aims to identify critical factors in the performance of living labs, drawing on literature and in-depth case studies in Eindhoven and Maastricht (Netherlands), Copenhagen (Denmark) and Montreal (Canada). Important critical factors are: early involvement of users, including feedback from them, and sufficient involvement of a wider network of stakeholders with the required expertise/input. An appropriate selection of promising inventions is also important. A preliminary analysis of network building through living labs found a trend for both local and global networking, with an emphasis on the latter. These findings touch on a leadership challenge for local governments, namely as a ‘connector’ between different local/ regional organizations.