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Ghent Living Lab
The Ghent Living Lab focuses on these key areas: (1) e-inclusion; (2) e-government and eparticipation; (3) digital innovation through developing future internet enabled services for smart cities; (4) green digital development including ICT enabled energy efficiency, smart energy and specific initiatives such as the Green Digital Charter.
The Ghent Living Lab is coordinated by the City of Ghent, and works in partnership withIBBT (Interdisciplinary Institute for Broadband Technology), Digipolis, Ghent University,the University Colleges Hogeschool Gent, Arteveldehogeschool and KaHo Sint-Lieven. ByAutumn 2011, we aim to boost the Ghent Living Lab with local networks or communityorganisations working on or interested in the key areas of the Ghent Living Lab.
The Ghent Living Lab is an open collaborative network led by the City. The key partners are: City of Ghent (www.gent.be); Digipolis (www.digipolis.be); IBBT (www.ibbt.be); Ghent University (www.ugent.be); Hogeschool Gent University College (www.hogent.be); Arteveldehogeschool University College (www.arteveldehs.be); KaHo Sint-Lieven University College (www.kahosl.be); Local (developer) networks and community organisations.
The most important capabilities and attributes of the Ghent Living Lab are:
• Drawing on more than 10 years experience of the City’s work on innovatory approaches to urban regeneration, including through the use of digital technologies to support e-inclusion and e-participation;
• The close relationship between the City of Ghent and the Ghent University and University Colleges, not only on ICT-related issues;
• Working closely with the local research and innovation communities to take R&D out of the research labs and into real-world test-beds to create use-cases for future applications and services.
References and Track Record
The Ghent LL acts as a facilitator between the different parts of the collaborative network that has beenestablished between the research community, businesses, the public sector and citizens and the widercommunity. Its primary focus is on Smart Cities and the development of Future Internet related services to support the further development of Smart Cities. Critical success factors and risks include:
• Navigating the current financial crisis;• Building the capacity of users to be active co-creators and co-producers;• Maintaining collaboration between different communities: research, business, public sector,citizens;• Establishing sustainable knowledge networks that capture and utilise the experience and expertise of the different collaborative communities to maintain and grow LL activities.
The special characteristic of the Ghent Living Lab is that it is led by the City itself with the highest possible commitment at the political and city management level. This enables strong leadership to be provided when developing open collaboration with stakeholders across the research community, private sector and community sector.