What is Living Lab for Health?

We promote systemic change to promote health

Living Lab for Health at IrsiCaixa has as its mission to contribute to resolving health challenges by fostering systemic change, both in the research and innovation (R&I) system and in systems affected by those challenges. The changes we propose have the ultimate goal of enhancing the impact of existing solutions and stimulating the ideation and implementation of novel solutions that better respond to system complexity and the needs and expectations of social actors.

We act as a think tank –a space for strategic reflection– for learning, exploration and co-creation of knowledge and of solutions. The processes that we facilitate go beyond the classical think tank model, in that we foster the transdisciplinary and participatory R&I necessary to tackle complex problems. Those processes rely on the participation of a wide range of actors, both within and outside the scientific community, including various scientific disciplines, care services, the educational community, public, private and third sector entities, citizens, etc.

In focusing on achieving our goals, we have accumulated more than 15 years of experience in transformative R&I, education and science communication, as endorsed by our participation in a wide range of competitive projects (some 10 of which are financed by the European Commission) and by training delivered to some 5,000 professionals, mainly from the academic sector.

Among our projects, we are co-coordinators, together with ISGlobal, of the Barcelona CaixaResearch Living Lab initiative, sponsored by Barcelona City Council and "la Caixa" Foundation, to which our contribution is the promotion of systemic innovation in health in the city of Barcelona.

Why systemic innovation?

Systemic innovation is necessary because certain health challenges are so complex and persistent that current solutions aimed at change fail to deliver a solution. It is therefore necessary to facilitate a co-creation space that will foster more problem-focused collaborative systemic change at the organizational level that takes into account the root causes of problems and the interconnectedness between different system components (social, technological, economic, environmental and political).

What inspires us?

We are inspired by movements to transform R&I processes, including those promoted by the European Commission, namely, Horizon Europe partnerships, Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI), Open Science and Open Innovation and Mission Oriented Research, as well as more global initiatives such as Community Based Participatory Research, System Thinking and Transdisciplinary R&I.

What do we offer?

STRATEGY LAB: strategic systemic collaborative consulting

Support in strategic decision-making and in the design and implementation of participatory, systemic and transdisciplinary R&I projects, development of Strategic Plans and Collective Action Plans, and facilitation of multi-stakeholder Communities of Practice to improve impact.

  • Support in strategic decision-making: facilitation of workshops on strategic collaborative reflection that support existing initiatives to optimize decision-making while taking into account system complexity.
  • Support in the design of participatory, systemic and transdisciplinary R&I projects.
  • Development of strategic plans and collective action plans: facilitation of workshops on systemic strategic reflection aimed at co-defining collective plans to promote systemic innovation.
  • Facilitation of multi-stakeholder communities of practice (COPs) to improve impact: dynamization of multi-stakeholder processes to promote systemic changes that help groups sharing the same social challenge to improve, through iterative processes of reflection, co-creation and learning, the impact of their solutions.

See the programs we implement in the systemic innovation section at the home page.


IMPACT LAB: systemic research and innovation with an impact

  • Ideation and implementation of systemic impact innovation: facilitation of workshops on ideation, prototyping, validation and implementation of new solutions with research and innovation processes that take into account the complexity of the system and RRI criteria.

See the programs we implement in the systemic innovation section at the home page.


EDU LAB: education and training in systemic innovation

  • Education and training: development of methodological guides, resources and educational activities to empower social actors to become agents of change, taking into account system complexity.

See the programs we implement in the educational programs section at the home page.


RESEARCH LAB: systemic innovation research

  • Research focused on systemic innovation. The development of research that ensures continuous improvement and dissemination of the processes facilitated by us and the creation of systemic knowledge that contributes to resolving health challenges.

See the programs we implement in the publications section at the home page.

Who are our services aimed at?

Our services are aimed at a wide range of actors who are affected by or involved in resolving health challenges that require systemic innovation.

At IrsiCaixa we foster initiatives to open up IrsiCaixa's research to collaboration with other social actors such as researchers from different disciplines (to promote strategic reflection), patients (representatives of civil society organizations), policy makers and care professionals, through, for example, the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) where we ensure that our research responds to the needs of the community.

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Irsi Caixa

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'La Caixa' Foundation Generalitat de Catalunya - Departament de Salut


HR Excellence in Research

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