Within the UPSIDE project following activities are intended:

Joint methodologies for the development of user-driven participatory solutions

The UPSIDE partners will perform a survey and an analysis of the state-of-the-art and state-of-play of methodologies, techniques, tools and best practices for user/citizen-driven innovation processes  based on the specifics of the partner regions (taking into account resource realities, specifics of the regional communities etc.). A selection of the most suitable tools in the context of research-driven collaborations, involving research, business and public administration will be made so as to promote a coordinated approach to the development of user-driven participatory solutions.

Implementation of pilot test beds

In each of the participating cluster regions, a pilot initiative for the development of user-driven participatory solutions shall be implemented as part of the Joint Action Plan. Each of those pilot test beds shall also involve organisations (businesses and research organisations) from the other clusters whenever possible.

The test beds are not to be considered as “vertical silos”, independent from each others. The partners aim at implementing bridges between them. The pilot test beds shall contribute to the emergence of shared innovation platforms (e.g. test-beds, piloting environments, living lab initiatives, new research-driven cluster initiatives, sub-clusters, etc.) and the faster development of European lead markets for innovative digital services in the UPSIDE application areas.

Joint Action Plan (JAP) – Accompanying measures

The JAP is by nature an instrument for the coordination of RTD activities between clusters/regions. In addition to the pilot test beds, the JAP will also contribute to the coordination of research and innovation activities:

  • Staff exchange programme between the clusters,
  • Identification and development of joint RTD and innovation projects.

As part of the JAP, the aspects of internationalisation and mentoring will provide a specific contribution to the coordination of activities with respect to the development of research-driven ICT clusters and the development of innovative solutions for health, mobility, public services and energy (resource efficiency).

Internationalisation

Living Labs Global plays an important role in the coordination of the internationalisation activities. Living Labs Global is a non-profit association based in Copenhagen (Denmark) promoting innovation in services and mobility in cities. It is a global initiative receiving strong support from the cities, technology institutes, associations and innovative SMEs that comprise its membership of more than 500 organisations, including the European Commission. Living Labs Global is focused on market development in mobility, digital and high technology services, public policy to promote innovation and opening of markets, and emerging business models in a variety of application areas. The expertise provided by Living Labs Global will help the UPSIDE partners to identify the most suitable cities, regions and clusters for the definition of a common internationalisation strategy. Collaboration with Living Labs Global provides both internationalisation and dissemination opportunities. With more than 38 piloted solutions worldwide by mid-2012, Living Labs Global provide assets such as standardized interfaces between cities and a standard for pre-commercial procurement which is currently being developed with over 120 major cities globally.

Further input will come from the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), to which project partners such as CyberForum and E-Zavod belong. ENoLL has already relevant contacts especially in Asia.

Mentoring

The UPSIDE partners will dedicate significant resources to mentoring activities, with the aim to have an impact on a large number of regions in the defined areas:

  • Central European area: e.g. Trentino (Italy), Torino (Italy), Vorarlberg (Austria), Budapest (Hungary), Praha (Czech Republic), Kielce (Poland), Kosice (Slovakia) have already been identified as interested partners for collaboration with the UPSIDE project.
  • Baltic area: e.g. Latvian ICT Cluster (Latvia), Lithuanian Innovation Centre (Lithuania),
  • Mediterranean area: e.g. Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain, Turkey.

Those activities will contribute to the coordination of RTD activities with organisations in the areas mentioned but also to the enlargement of the marketplaces initiated with the pilots.

In detail: