n African Journal of Science, Technology, Innovation and Development - Living labs and knowledge creation in developing countries : living labs as a tool for socio-economic resilience in Tanzania

Volume 8, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2042-1338
  • E-ISSN: 2042-1346
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Living Labs (LL) are platforms to increase innovation through the interaction of various actors. LLs are based on an open innovation process, community involvement, co-creation of products, and services or societal innovations together with users. Bottom-up approaches, such as LLs, are needed to support innovation processes in local communities. Developing countries expect that innovation systems with LLs will contribute positively to socio-economic resilience and poverty alleviation. However, only few studies exist about LLs in developing countries. This article studies LLs in Tanzania, with regard to their knowledge creation processes and contribution to socio-economic resilience of local communities. In Tanzania, LLs create new entrepreneurial skills and opportunities for people with limited formal education. The participants in LLs discuss and define local challenges in groups and find solutions through co-creation. They combine local knowledge and practices with external ones, the latter found mostly through learning to use the internet. Direct networking between LLs in Tanzania helps to share experiences and best practices. External funding and know-how transfer support LLs, but the commitment of their key person(s) is crucial.

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