Water Oriented Living Labs (WOLLs)

What are Water Oriented Living Labs (WOLLs)

WOLLs are real-life, water oriented and demo-type and platform-type environments with a cross-sector nexus approach, which have the involvement and commitment of multi-stakeholders (including water authorities) and provide a “field lab” to co-create, develop, test, and validate a combination of innovative solutions, which include technologies, their integration as well as combination with new business models and innovative policies based on the Value of Water

Water Oriented Living Labs operate as systemic intermediaries among cities, regions, firms, third sector and research organisations as well as citizens for joint value co-creation, rapid prototyping, or validation to scale up and speed up innovation and businesses for the achievement of a Water-Smart Society.

WOLLs are aimed at ensuring continuity and reproducibility to Research and Development. They gather existing water-oriented interventions, research, and innovation with a cross-sector nexus approach to learning and innovation ecosystems.

In ULTIMATE, engagement with industrial stakeholders and citizens will be created by leveraging existing LLs in the regions of the project’s cases to build a symbiosis between water service providers and industries.

Why does ULtimate need WOLLs?

The symbiosis between industry and water utilities and enabling digital transformation in the water sector is a complex issue that needs  dialogue and innovative research. ULTIMATE will follow the evolution of WOLLs from simply being experimental laboratories to being ecosystems for experimentation and co-creation with real users in real life spaces. Exploiting the concepts of WOLLs the project will offer an active and inclusive stakeholder engagement environment around the innovations demonstrated, setting up participation and collaboration platforms for both industry-to-industry engagement and citizen participation.

Specifically, ULTIMATE dedicate the stakeholder engagement to develop and implement innovative ways to creatively engage with both stakeholders (industrial partners, technology providers, regulators and investors) and the general public and co-create with them.

How does ULTIMATE support WOLLs?

In ULTIMATE, Water Europe aims at leveraging existing WOLLs in the regions of the ULTIMATE cases by engaging additional stakeholders and citizens. WOLLs will be investigated to analyse gaps and critical factors for success to build symbiosis between services providers and industries and to generate a local enabling environment for cooperation. Dialogue among CoPs and WOLLs will be supported and fostered through workshops and brokerage events.

Role of Water Europe

The role of Water Europe in this task is to contribute to targeting the WOLLs making use of the Water Europe’s WOLLs methodology and WOLLs ATLAS. Water Europe will provide recommendations for the creation of a new type of WSIS-LLs suited for symbiosis with industry.

Current Status of ULTIMATE WOLLs

So far, Water Europe collaborated in the development for the definition of criteria for linking existing WOLLs to the project’s case studies. The outcome will be used to provide recommendations for the stakeholder engagement to form new WOLLs based on the case studies, resulting in a new type of Water Smart Industrial Symbiosis Living Labs (WSIS-LL) including an open innovation environment.

Further information & Contact

If you would like more information about the ULTIMATE WOLLs, please reach out to

Andrea Rubini