MDH Living Lab

MDH Living Lab – methods for cooperation

MDH Living Lab is an arena that strengthens the collaboration environment at Mälardalen University (MDH) and consists of a number of forums where companies and the public sector can include the user in testing product and services. Users are included throughout the whole development process, from idea to market. Through co-production, opportunities for increased efficiency, creativity and innovation are created.

MDH Living Lab@IPR is striving towards a tripartite relationship between the University, companies in the region and the surrounding community. The basic concept of MDH Living Lab@IPR is to develop methods to increase the opportunities for collaboration with the surrounding community, in the private as well as in the public sectors. In interdisciplinary projects (engineers, social scientists, humanists and artists), Living Lab carries out projects in research and education, which involve users in different stages of a design and/or innovation process. For MDH Living Lab@IPR the users are not primarily end users but employees in various organisations. In the Living Lab project we define the project together with users in an organisation, so that afterwards we can explore, experiment and evaluate it together. This takes place in iterative processes and not sequentially.

Member of the European Network of Living Labs

In 2018 MDH Living Lab@IPR was admitted as a member of the European Network of Living Lab (ENoLL), which means that MDH has access to and the opportunity to cooperate with Living Lab in large parts of Europe, the USA and India. The members of ENoLL work within a number of different sectors, such as health and welfare, smart towns, culture and creativity, energy, social inclusiveness and education. Several of these areas coincide with the areas that are of interest to MDH Living Lab@IPR. Being a member of ENoLL gives MDH Living Lab@IPR the opportunity, together with other living labs, to apply for EU grants, but also to have a certain influence on how calls within the EU are to be designed.

MDH Living Lab unites academia, the private sector and society

The ambition is to work towards achieving dynamic meetings between students, researchers, teachers and representatives of the public sector and the surrounding community that will lead to new knowledge for both the University and external stakeholders. To realise this ambition we, together with external parties, are focusing on refining methods, in research and student projects, to be able to support and develop processes for collaboration.

MDH Living Lab@IPR is about finding and building on synergies between cultural, economic, ecological and social dimensions of sustainability. Through MDH Living Lab@IPR we can partly help students and researchers to gain closer proximity to the surrounding community and its actors in the form of companies and entrepreneurs, and partly that these gain proximity to current research and education.

MDH Living Lab@IPR has a vision of contributing to a sustainable society from a holistic perspective, where researchers and teachers from the field of technology, the humanities, social sciences and the arts contribute to the development of knowledge.

MDH Living Lab is tightly integrated in IPR’s educational and research framework have good infrastructure, partly provided by close collaboration and several strategic agreements with companies and organizations such as ABB Sweden, Bombardier Transportation, Volvo Group, MITC, Automation Region and Robotdalen. Moreover, we have agreements with local municipalities and extensively collaborate with museums and various kinds of local and national authorities.

The physical environment of IPR includes: 

  • Fab Lab
    Prototype and material lab for 3D-printing and metal and wood workshops.
  • Mälardalen User Experience Lab (mUX)
    Tools for online collaboration, an observation room with recording equipment and eye-tracking equipment.
  • Innovation Gym
    An open space that facilitates creative workshops.
  • Volvo Manufacturing Innovation Lab
    A robotics, manufacturing and method lab.