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Jun 20, 2023 Article
Living labs contributions to smart cities from a quadruple-helix perspective

by Daniel Esashika, Gilmar Masiero and Yohann Mauger

This paper explores living labs' contributions to smart cities from a quadruple-helix perspective. The selected exploratory case studies (Living Lab Florianópolis, Living Lab of the Itaipu Technological Park and Porto Digital) depict an institutional context characterized by a low interaction between the quadruple-helix components. The data were obtained through document analysis and interviews with living lab organizers and participants. The results suggest living labs can contribute by a) selecting the most promising projects to promote, b) connecting several agents and sharing informational through collaborative practices and events, c) facilitating mediation between participants in living labs and government agencies, universities and local companies to conduct tests, and d) inserting the fourth helix as a tester but not as a co-creator. These findings explain the participation of quadruple-helix components in the stages of project selection, development, and testing developing living labs. Finally, this article contradicts the predominant notion that living labs remain based on user-oriented innovation processes, purporting a producer-oriented trajectory.

Volume 22 • Issue 03 • 2023 • Special Issue: Living labs under construction: paradigms, practices, and perspectives of public science communication and participatory science