In terms of common methodologies and tools, the project has as overall objective to identify the basic principles, concepts and processes that underlie cross-border domain-specific networks of Living Labs.

This implies the development of a cross-border Living Lab Network methodology acting as a framework, and including the creation of action-based and value-adding strategies & concepts for cooperation, tools & methods to stimulate user involvement, user empowerment to enable true collaboration, best practices & lessons learned to be used as guidelines, harmonisations between the different Living Lab methods and approaches to better understand & assess the benefit, and contextual impact factors.

APOLLON aims at defining and harmonising tools and platforms for the set-up and successful operation of such a network. It also implies generating an impact assessment framework that can be used to validate and benchmark these approaches.

Methodology Development Progress to date (September 2010)

The work began with extensive state of the art analysis on cross border living lab networks (D1.1, Summary can be found under the ‘Documents’ tab). This analysis addressed the need for European Living Labs to move from awareness creation to true collaboration, and to implement a more detailed analysis of Europe-wide user, market and technology characteristics and an economically more valuable mode of experimentation, by networking, comparing and scaling up cross-border Living lab networks.

The state of the art analysis was concluded in M1-M6 of the project in form of a literature study of previous Living Lab projects and questionnaire that was designed for semi-structured interviews within and outside of the APOLLON consortium. The interviewees have been chosen according to their proven record of experience and expertise within the European Living Lab community and network.

We have selected a holistic Living Lab management approach as a basis for the APOLLON methodology. Living Lab management tasks have been categorized in four categories: Connect, Set Boundaries and Engage, Support and Govern andManage and Track. The categorization reflects the stages of Living Lab network initiation, experimentation and evaluation. The objective of the categorization is to establish a common approach to methodology, and divide the related tasks and elements to easily managed entities. The categorization was introduced to APOLLON consortium in April 2010 (M6 of the project) together with the state of the art analysis, and to the wider audience during the same month at the Living Lab and FIRE event in Valencia.

The first version of the APOLLON methodology will be presented at APOLLON General Assemblee in the end of September 2010. This will include descriptions of the processes and tools used for collaboration and support for the thematic pilots. The methodology will further introduce a set of supporting tools and templates for managing and evaluating the pilots. APOLLON methodology will also be presented to wider audiences during ICT2010 event in Brussels in September 2010.