Living labs are interdisciplinary, participatory initiatives that aim to bring research closer to practice by collaborating closely with stakeholders in all stages of research (Racine et al., 2024). The European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), one of the leading associations of living labs, defines them as “open innovation ecosystems centered on the user based on a systematic approach to user co-creation, integrating research and innovation processes into real communities and environments” (Hossain et al. 2019). Originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the context of information technology and technological innovation, living labs are now deployed in various fields such as urban planning, agriculture, healthcare, technology, and environment as a promising participatory approach to engage users and foster innovation (Hossain et al. 2019; Racine et al., 2024). By integrating research into real-life contexts, they commonly aim to foster collaboration between a variety of actors (such as researchers, businesses, local authorities, and citizens) to bring together a diversity of perspectives on issues and stimulate the co-production of tailored and innovative solutions.
The Pragmatic Health Ethics Research Unit explores a variety of ethical issues arising in the Quebec healthcare system. After taking several steps towards the implementation of É-LABO, one of the first living labs in ethics, we undertook the development of this directory with the aim of promoting the visibility of living labs in Canada and stimulating collaboration within this emerging community. This directory is designed to benefit members of existing living labs, as well as those interested in living labs or considering developing one. We thus hope that the latter encourages the mobilization of living labs in several fields to bring about beneficial changes in various settings. We also hope that this directory contributes to the growth and promotion of a dynamic and collaborative community in the field of participatory research and innovation in Canada.

Hossain, M., Leminen, S., & Westerlund, M. (2019). A systematic review of living lab literature. Journal of Cleaner Production, 213, 976–988.
Racine, E., D’Anjou, B., Dallaire, C., Dumez, V., Favron-Godbout, C., Hudon, A., Montreuil, M., Olivier, C., Quintal, A., & Chenel, V. (2024). Developing a living lab in ethics: Initial issues and observations. Bioethics, 38, 153–163. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.13246


Racine, E., Brouillette, F., D’Anjou, B. (2024) Répertoire de laboratoires vivants actifs au Canada, Unité de recherches en éthique pragmatique de la santé, Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, Montréal, Québec.