Solar Living Lab: implementing sustainable experimentation process, responsible innovation and community engagement in a solar energy research facility.
The aim of our work was to investigate the feasibility of implementing a Living Lab approach into a solar energy research infrastructure, promoting open participated and sustainable experimentation processes. We pursued this goal by studying similar experiences, tackling technical, social and cultural challenges, testing innovative solutions in a real‐life context, engaging stakeholders and enhancing the commitment of local communities within a broader solar‐driven energy transition process and a smart specialization strategy. Furthermore, the implementation phase showed the high potential of replication of this initiative bridging to other twinned demonstrative infrastructures in the Mediterranean basin (Cyprus, Jordan, Egypt). The results so far achieved proved that an iterative innovation process has been effectively triggered, whose impact is being measured to design future development, and an overall interest has been raised by the Solar Living Lab approach, leading to new applications and to the enlargement of the local, national and international networks of the solar research infrastructure.