Importance of Living Labs in Urban Entrepreneurship: A Portuguese Case Study

Rodrigues, M., M. Franco (2018), "Importance of Living Labs in Urban Entrepreneurship: A Portuguese Case Study", Journal of Cleaner Production, 80, 780-789.

From a network perspective, the main objective of this study is to analyse how living labs contribute to promoting urban entrepreneurship in towns and cities and their sustainability. To achieve this aim, a qualitative research approach was adopted, specifically an exploratory case study of a living lab in a Portuguese town. As data collecting instruments, semi-structured interviews were held with key people in charge of this incubator, the incubated firms, public partners and citizens/people. Additional documentation was obtained for data triangulation in content analysis. The empirical evidence obtained leads to concluding on the need to continue study of urban entrepreneurship and its connection with living labs in towns. The results also showed that living labs are the “cradle” for this type of entrepreneurship and a vehicle for economic and social development and sustainability. From the evidence obtained, we were able to detect three units/factors of living labs to promote urban entrepreneurship: (1) open network, (2) entrepreneurship and (3) benefits/results. The insights gained from this explorative case study have several theoretical and practical implications.