oPEN Lab: Open innovation living labs for Positive Energy Neighbourhoods

The oPEN Lab project aims to identify and demonstrate replicable, commercially viable solution packages enabling to achieve positive energy buildings and neighbourhoods. 33 partners from seven countries are collaborating to revitalise urban areas across Europe to lead the transition to Positive Energy Neighbourhoods.

Three open innovation living labs in the cities of Genk (Belgium), Pamplona (Spain) and Tartu (Estonia) will test combinations of different close-to-market ready technologies and services and study their performance as a unique operating system. The oPEN Lab project will demonstrate integrated, participatory and neighbourhood-based approaches:

  • The integrated approach combines sustainable building design tailored to the local context, seamless industrial renovation workflows, renewable energy generation combined with energy flexibility, including energy storage systems, urban service facilities and smart operation, life cycle thinking and circularity;
  • The neighbourhood approach enables an analysis, leading to designs and implementation of the most optimal renovation and technology approaches towards a decarbonised building stock, and from an integrated perspective. This approach leads to a reduction of construction costs and time, facilitates the pooling of financing, decreases the burden for residents and allows for the rollout of new services (e.g., comfort as a service);
  • The participatory approach is based on an approach where industry, government, academia and participants from Genk, Pamplona and Tartu work together to co-create and drive changes far beyond what any organisation or person could do alone.

The main role of the Mobility Lab is to conduct research activities related to the social dimension of renovation and  living labs’ development and implementation. The main task is data collection and analysis regarding attitudes and behaviour of the people living in the Tartu living lab area towards their living environment, the apartment building, the public space of the neighborhood and the renovation of the house as well as monitor residents’ experiences and feedback during the project. Mobility Lab is participating also in local community engagement and awareness raising activities in Tartu to raise awareness on green energy and oPEN Lab innovations.

Public presentations and media coverage

  • Project name: oPEN Lab: Open innovation living labs for Positive Energy Neighbourhoods
  • Duration: October 2021–May 2026
  • Funding: European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation programme
  • Principal Investigators at the Mobility Lab: Siiri Silm
  • People involved: Veronika Mooses, Mirjam Veiler
  • Collaboration partners in Estonia: Tartu City Government, Institute of Baltic Studies, Tartu Regional Energy Agency, University of Tartu, Tallinna University of Technology, Gren, Eesti Energia
  • Project webpage:
  • Project information in the Estonian Research Information System