Launch of the European Network of Living Labs at an EU conference on 20 November 2006
The Finnish EU Presidency places particular emphasis on the European competitiveness and innovation. As part of Finland’s official EU Presidency programme, the European Network of Living Labs will be launched on 20 November. The network is the first step towards a new European innovation system. The launch will take place at the Dipoli Congress Centre in Espoo in connection with a conference entitled the European Network of Living Labs: A Step Towards a European Innovation System.
The conference will be attended by some 300 research, technology and innovation-policy specialists from the EU countries, representing the public sector, research institutes and business world. Attendants will include ministers from the countries that will hold the Presidency after Finland. A high-level delegation from China is also to participate in the conference.
The European Network of Living Labs will include, in the initial phase, 20 actors from 16 European countries. The network also involves more than 100 active researchers and a representative group of innovative European companies. The Living Labs network concentrates on the development of new information society services, businesses, technologies and markets and places people at the very centre of product development and innovation.
During the conference, Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen will publish the Helsinki Manifest which will also be submitted to the forthcoming EU Presidencies and to the European Commission. The Helsinki Manifest will draw attention to concrete means to achieve the objectives set by the Lisbon Strategy. These key measures are based on the conclusions of the Networked Business and Government - Something Real for the Lisbon Strategy conference in October.
Speakers of the conference will include:
- Ulf Dahlsten, Director, European Commission, DG for Information Society and Media
- Hans-Ulrich Maerki, Chairman, IBM Europe – Middle East – Africa
- Esko Aho, Chairman of the Hampton Court Expert Group, President of the Finnish National Fund for Research and Development (Sitra)
- Timo Kekkonen, Director, Confederation of Finnish Industry
- Markku Mattila, Director General, Finnish Ministry for Education
There is a pressing need in Europe for job creation and for action to promote productivity and economic growth through innovation. The Living Labs network is a form of public-private cooperation the aim of which is to generate and test new services, businesses, markets and technologies in everyday surroundings.
The conference will be organised in cooperation with the Finnish Government Information Society Programme, the Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR) of the Helsinki School of Economics, and the European Commission.
- Katrina Harjuhahto-Madetoja, Programme Director, Prime Minister's Office, tel. +358 9 1602 2363 or +358 40 8200 750;
Seija Kulkki, Director, Center for Knowledge and Innovation Research (CKIR) at the Helsinki School of Economics, tel. +358 9 431 38945 or +348 50 584 9070;
- Bror Salmelin, Head of Unit, European Commission, Information Society and Media, tel. +32 2 2969564 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org;
- Päivi Paasikoski, Head of Information, Government Communications Unit, tel. +358 9 1602 2082 or +358 40 547 6279