Rather than being in a fully controlled environment, like traditional laboratories, the living lab approach focuses on testing innovations in real-life settings. Living labs let participants imagine, develop and create innovative services and tools that better meet the needs of various markets. The entire innovation ecosystem can interact directly or indirectly in a living lab, thereby increasing the capacity of the "collective brain".
A public square, a commercial or residential building, or any other place can be a living lab. In our case, the entire Lanaudière region is designated as a test area, making Lanaudière’s living lab one of the largest in the world and a pioneer in this kind of approach in Quebec.
Microlabs are organizations and businesses from the Lanaudière region, working in various sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, agri-food, entertainment, retail and others. They have needs and opportunities for technological modernization within their business and they agree to open their doors to Innovators to test new technologies in their field.
Innovators are start-ups, spin-offs, or researchers who have innovative projects with emerging technologies and would like to test their products or services in a real-life setting with a potential client. They already have a prototype of their technologies and are looking for a proof of concept to reach commercialization.