A project which connects researchers to members of the local community in a bid to address and tackle sustainability issues has been launched by the University of Northampton, which will further strengthen its commitment to social impact and being a Changemaker Campus.
The Living Lab is a virtual space in which partnerships of researchers, students, external partners, and communities, collaborate to test new technologies, services, products or systems in real-life contexts, with the aim of improving community or environmental outcomes.
It will focus on sustainability across all four of the University’s Changemaker Challenges and will develop new relationships, connections and ways of working. It will also provide a framework in which the University can scale its social impact and ensure that local communities are at the heart of its efforts to overcome particular issues that may arise.
Joanna Wright, Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography and Environmental Science, who is leading on the Living Lab, commented “Living Labs have a strong presence in Higher Education and have produced significant opportunities for staff, students and communities, to not only engage in research but to address real issues that affect their lives.
“Linking our Living Lab to the University’s strategic Changemaker Challenges provides us with a fantastic opportunity to deliver a Living Lab that is unique in the UK.”