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Campuses can be used as living labs

KTH has set clear sustainability goals for research: We need to make more strategic investments in this area and we need to create new opportunities for interdisciplinary research and education with a sustainability focus. These investments must also be made visible and accessible.

An exciting new collaboration has been entered into with Akademiska Hus that is going to contribute to making research and study programmes in sustainable development more visible. The idea is to exploit the opportunities that are available to use the various KTH campus areas as so-called Living Labs. A living lab is usually defined as an open innovation environment with a strong focus on end users where new ideas and concepts can be developed intuitively in collaboration with other parties. Several buildings on the KTH campus are already testbeds within the KTH Living Lab Centre with Akademiska Hus as one of the partners. Experiences from this partnership are positive and we are now aiming to build further on this.

An important first step in this work is to create a digital twin in parallel with the physical environment, not only to visualise research and innovation, but also to optimise local usage or to quite simply enable more efficient management and operation of our buildings. A digital twin can be described as a virtual copy of a real object or process that can exchange information with each other in real time.

By developing a digital twin, new ideas and innovations can be tested in the digital domain before being brought into the physical environment.  This is an excellent opportunity for researchers in vastly different areas to test their ideas and it can also become an important resource for students in different project courses.

This new initiative chimes well with the sustainability goals that have

been set within the collaboration area where one sub goal calls for us to develop locations on KTH campus areas that showcase our climate and sustainability work and invite participation, for example via demonstration projects.

I and everyone at KTH-Sustainability wish all KTH collaboration partners, students and employees a pleasant, sunny and sustainable summer.