The Living Lab on Wellbeing Services and Technology enables independent living for elderly people

The Living Lab on Wellbeing Services and Technology was a two-year project to test welfare services and technologies in real-life contexts, including old people’s homes. Several follow-up projects were launched after its completion. The projects call upon a partnership of public and private stakeholders to develop a new model to support independent living.

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Technology is tested in a Living Lab that can support elderly people living independently while at home. © Living Lab on Wellbeing Technology is tested in a Living Lab that can support elderly people living independently while at home. © Living Lab on Wellbeing

" This new Living Lab model offers a systemic change for Public-Private-People cooperation in creating more cost-efficient services and user-friendly technologies for elderly people. "

Niina Holappa, Living Lab Project Manager

The projects offer solutions to the challenge of demographic change. Their goal is to design and test the latest welfare technology, aimed at supporting elderly people with a memory disorder so that they can live at home, with the help of the users. This is achieved through public-private-people (PPP) partnerships, which have resulted in stronger cooperation between local authorities, companies, and citizens.

Multiple stakeholders engaged

The original “Living Lab” project involved three regions in Western Finland: Satakunta, Tampere, and South-Ostrobothnia. The three main test groups were elderly people, relatives and professional carers of the elderly, who were given the opportunity to use the latest technological innovations. The suppliers trained the testers and provided technical support during the testing process.

In the Satakunta region, 8 technology products and services were developed and re-designed with the help of nearly 200 users, while an innovative digital TV platform was trialled in Tampere. In the South-Ostrobothnia region, the project led to the establishment of multidimensional groups (KAT), made up of public and private stakeholders responsible for nursing and care services, which dealt with 110 customer cases.

The project continues

The project’s nomination as a finalist in the 2013 RegioStars Competition, which recognises innovative projects, demonstrates the success of the Living Lab idea. Originally scheduled to end in 2012, follow-up projects have been initiated in various regions and are again financially supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

For instance, in the Satakunta region, the development of welfare technology was continued in the “Living Lab – User-driven Wellbeing in Satakunta” project. Over the course of two years, 17 tests with 11 welfare technology companies were conducted. In addition, around 150 students of elderly care were informed about the new possibilities.

The project has also been extended in the South Ostrobothnia region with the TUPA –Tukea ja hyvinvointia kotona asumiseen (read support and well being of living at home) project, which supports the well-being and living at home.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the projects “The Living Lab on Wellbeing Services and Technology”, “Living Lab – User-driven Wellbeing in Satakunta”, and “TUPA” is EUR 918 640, with the European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 697 584 through the “Western Finland” operational programme for the 2007-2013 programming period.


Draft date

15/07/2015