Who we are?
Forum Virium Helsinki is an innovation unit within the Helsinki City Group. We develop new digital services and urban innovations in cooperation with companies, the City of Helsinki, other public sector organizations, and Helsinki residents. Forum Virium Helsinki builds bridges between the public and the private sector. Our development projects are based on the same principle: we solve public sector problems, but the solutions are often developed by private companies and residents.
Forum Virium Helsinki has a European-wide collaboration network and is one of the founding members of European Network of Living Labs. The digital solutions developed in our projects can be seen in Helsinki, Amsterdam and Barcelona alike. Cities around the world will benefit from services built together on shared platforms.
We are a living lab operator, meaning real life laboratory, a practical research and test environment for developing new services. Living labs are also described as open innovation platforms or environment. Users are involved in the development work from day one, ensuring that the end products and services are both easy to use and truly necessary.
How we work?
The role of Forum Virium Helsinki is to be a mediator, a facilitator, a change agent and a living lab operator. We are well connected and we are always looking for the best organizations and persons to work together in the projects.
As a tool for our projects we bring together the networks formed by people and other stakeholders, to define and co-create what is needed, as well as test and evaluate services.
The operating model of Forum Virium Helsinki is based on user-driven open innovation. Some talk about agile development, while others call it a culture of experimentation. This means a significant paradigm shift in public sector operations.
At new Kalasatama residential area, the term refers also to a place: the district itself and key locations for developing new services. Such development platforms include the school as well as the social services and health care centre, which are both currently being built.
What do we want to gain from Living Lab Alliance?
In the Nordic Business and Living Lab Alliance project we are coordinating the project in tight collaboration with the city of Helsinki Social and Healthcare Department.
Our target is to collect living lab processes and testing practices together and create together a living lag toolbox for the city and help to define a path for SMEs which are interested in getting user experiences, market validation or some kind of reference for the product.
Helsinki is interested in experimenting with SME’s and startups to boost the development of their products and get feedback from potential customer. We are also interested in Nordic collaboration and learning and we believe in the possibilities of creating a Nordic Health and care ecosystem to serve the cities and the local SMEs. The structure of the markets are quite similar but testing outside of the local context gives some evidence what kind of opportunities you have and what you might need to perform differently.
In this project we aim to create a common toolbox of best practices and living lab tools for health and social sector, and we will most certainly tell about it also to other departments of the city.