The Nordic Business & Living Lab Alliance met up in the City of Västerås for some productive days on shaping the future of the Nordic Living Lab Alliance. Discussions centered on experiences on how best to match demand side (municipalities and living labs) needs with the supply side (companies) solutions. Apart from different types of ways to screen solutions and to find the best match discussions also touched upon the possibility of approaching from a detailed and needs based approach e.g. via an analysis of problems and expenditure in the municipalities – or via a more “bottom up” approach taking an outset in the companies and their solutions and identifying whether or not these addresses problems or needs in the municipality. It is of course not an either or approach and we will look in to both ways of creating a platform for matchmaking. It was however a fruitful discussion which especially showed the various examples and experiences of trying to identify and best present public sector needs. A good example is for instance the needs analysis of Copenhagen Municipality as well as the way to categorize detailed needs being presented in the SILVER Pre-commercial Procurement project.
Furthermore Eva Sahlén, socialdirektør in Västerås, gave a splendid presentation of how Västerås works with welfare technologies and with involving users and companies in creating a better future. Mats Rundkvist, also from Västerås, presented the process, findings and learnings from the ongoing SILVER PCP project and we got an interesting view into the pro and cons of using pre-commercial procurement. As Mats explained: “We buy something that doesn’t exist”.