Living Lab – introduction

UPV Living Lab is an on-campus laboratory created with the aim of accelerating the path towards carbon neutrality of the Universitat Politècnica de València and the city.

Background

València has been designated by the European Commission as one of the 100 European cities taking up the challenge to become climate neutral by 2030. The València 2030 Climate Mission will facilitate research and innovation for clean mobility, energy efficiency and green urban planning, enabling the creation of joint initiatives, increased collaborations in synergy with other programs, networking, exchange of best practices between cities and support to engage citizens in the mission. The mission of being a climate neutral city has to be, above all, the seed of a great pact for a city model oriented to decarbonization.

The Rector of the UPV and the Mayor of Valencia have signed a joint institutional declaration to jointly find innovative solutions and accelerate the necessary changes for the fulfillment of the Climate Mission. In this sense, the university-city binomial appears as a fundamental element for the Climate Mission València 2030. To transform València towards climate neutrality – a requirement for future prosperity and well-being – it will be necessary to act simultaneously in all urban subsystems and will require the collaboration of various actors in society around interdisciplinary initiatives that transcend industries and sectors, with innovative forms of collaboration that take advantage of the best of each sector and discipline. 

The UPV aspires to be the first Spanish university to be carbon neutral and wants to achieve this using all the knowledge and innovation it produces, and hand in hand with all members of its community. The Universitat Politècnica de València, as a leading technological university in Spain, can contribute to the València 2030 Climate Mission from its position of prestige by helping to generate awareness of the context that drives the response in its sphere of influence, training all its students in the subject, preparing itself and helping companies and public administrations in its environment to do so, and working to develop the new knowledge and technologies that will be necessary. Furthermore, the UPV’s objective is to develop its training and research activities while optimizing the available resources, preserving our natural surroundings and guaranteeing the minimum environmental impact.

UPV Living Lab

A living lab is a real test bed and experimentation environment where the university community, users and producers can co-create, explore, experiment and evaluate innovations. It aims at open innovation through iterative processes that are oriented to create sustainable impact. A living lab focuses on co-creation, rapid prototyping, testing and scaling of solutions, acting as an intermediary between citizens, academia, business and public administration.

UPV Living Lab will allow the implementation of innovative projects and test benches (sandbox) in the Vera campus that will be replicable in the neighborhoods of Valencia. It will be the seed for the development of strategic projects together with the city of Valencia in innovation and research. 

To this end, it will rely on existing instruments, such as teaching content, internships, TFG and TFM, mobility programs, spaces for debate and reflection, etc., while developing new instruments focused on the needs identified jointly with the university community and the city.