Policy Recommendations

1. Strong, long term policy support needed at all levels of government

The living labs and quattro helix approach to growth and development must have policy support from all levels of government to thrive: EU, national, regional and local. Support should be long term and cover several electoral periods. The EU growth and development policies are particularly important, as they provide the strategic framework for the national, regional and local thinking.

2. To cultivate atmosphere of dialogue and cross sector collaboration within quattro helix

There is a disconnect between industry, care consumers and care providers. Health care providers and regional innovation ecosystems tend to operate in a fragmented way. There is a lag between what end-users need, what SMEs are creating and need to test/validate and what healthcare providers/funders seem prepared to do. The value chain is incoherent. Increased dialogue and cross sector collaboration is needed.

3. Policy design must involve all quattro helix users

The policy design and strategies must cultivate dialogue and support quattro helix thinking.  End-user platforms should be set up; innovative ideas must be collected from the health care system and companies must be able to test their ideas with the public health system. More and better cross sector dialogue is a key working method for development and implementation of innovative solutions. A starting point is to create a quattro helix ecosystem involving all relevant stakeholders.

4. The Living Labs must be very professionally driven

Living labs must be very professionally driven and staff must have a wide set of skills and competences for living labs to be successful. They must ensure access to end-users and they must know about the needs for innovation in the public sector. They must deliver an interdisciplinary, diversified service and have a high level of knowledge of markets and potential clients.

5. Strong communication needed – simple messages

It is crucial for the daily running and continued support of their activities, that the Living Labs undertake continued, strong communication and dialogue with their stakeholder environments about their activities and results.

6. Transnational living lab collaboration with existing networks and organisations

A future transnational living lab structure should be built in collaboration with existing national and international health innovation networks and living labs structures.

7. All levels of government must support living labs financially

All levels of government must provide financial resources and support for the setup and running of the Living Lab structures.  The value of a cross sectoral, needs- and dialogue- based collaboration must be enshrined in policy and strategies at all four levels of government. The living labs and their ecosystems are strategic lighthouses working in a difficult field of economic development.  They need political and financial support to sustain their activities.


The full report can be found HERE