Delta Areas and Resources Applied Research Centre
For the Delta Areas and Resources Applied Research Centre, a sustainable delta is safe, healthy and ecologically resilient. In addition, the delta is inhabited by citizens and professionals who are engaged in the sustainable use of landscape and natural resources and contribute to a circular economy this way.
As a university of applied sciences, the expertise of Van Hall Larenstein is geared towards teaching and conducting applied research. In order to achieve our vision, the efforts of Delta Areas and Resources Applied Research Centre focus on improving the sustainable land use and resource management of urbanised deltas through applied research, training and teaching.
The working method of the Delta Areas and Resources Applied Research Centre is aimed at 1) a landscape and user-centred approach, 2) optimal use of the available expertise, 3) connecting parties to work jointly on a sustainable future. To this end, the Research Centre uses the Living Lab principle.
For the successful implementation of applied research, it is important that research themes are initiated and carried out in close cooperation with the four stakeholder groups: government, academia, entrepreneurs/industry and citizens. This form of collaboration is also referred to as the ‘quadruple helix’ and is known to accelerate the innovation process.
If we apply the quadruple helix approach methodology in a spatial context (city, region et cetera), this is referred to as a ‘Living Lab’. A living lab as a research concept is an open-innovation (eco-)system in a spatial context where the focus is on the users of the space. Both research and the innovative process within a public-private-people partnership are important here. Van Hall Larenstein aims to create sustainability at the landscape level, whereby the Living Lab concept will play an important role within the professorship.
Conducting applied research in Living Labs
The ABCD roadmap is used in order to assist the stakeholder categories in formulating shared objectives. This tool was developed by the Alliance for Strategic Sustainable Development. Both Radboud University and Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Sciences are members of this alliance. The tool helps researchers to keep their finger on the pulse in terms of the actual issues in practice and it enables them to stay in touch with the stakeholders involved.
Three types of innovation are key in the transition towards a sustainable future, and they need to be developed and applied harmoniously in the Living Labs: 1) new ways of collaboration (innovative governance), 2) new means of financing (innovative finance) and 3) new technology/engineering (Clean Tech & Smart Engineering).