Emerging transport challenges require changing how we move and examining new perspectives for redesigning our transportation system. While mobility research can drive significant innovation, alone it can fall short in delivering solutions that work in the real-world context or that initiate systemic change.
The Austrian Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) is pursuing a novel living lab approach to this problem. The bmvit has created a new programme initiative to fund a set of real-world laboratories designed to complement its research and innovation funding activities and to leverage their impacts.
Real world labs unlock new potentials for research and innovation by combining user ideas with methodologies and tools like design thinking or co-creation. Collaborative spaces facilitate blending viewpoints into a common and accepted picture of the future. Open experimental environments empower citizens and local innovators to turn problems into new solutions.
The lab structure facilitates exchange and coordination in multi-actor cooperation frameworks, builds and operates necessary research infrastructure (data, field equipment etc.) or initiates and coordinates adjustments in framework conditions (policies, administrative procedures, etc.) thus creating a vital innovation ecosystem for mobility and transport. The labs are geared towards acquiring and circulating knowledge about systemic impacts beyond singular research activities by supporting a mutual learning process.
Five Urban Mobility Labs located in four urban areas address key issues of local and regional mobility futures. They will support Austria’s cities evolve into hot-spots for future mobility innovation by exploring, testing, implementing and scaling-up new solutions.
A comprehensive pool of knowledge regarding the feasibility of Urban Mobility Labs was generated in an exploration phase launched in 2014 in the course of the research programme " Mobility of the Future" followed by a call for implementation projects in May 2016.
Following Urban Mobility Labs have been selected for funding:
An overview of the Urban Mobility Labs in Austria can be found in the Quick Guide (in German language!).
One “Centre for Mobility Change” will serve as a think-tank and exchange hub for mobility behaviour change in Austria. This lab will focus on better linking research and practice in mobility behaviour change, with the objective of closing existing knowledge gaps and fully seizing the potential of digitalisation.
For any inquiries on the MTL-initiative contact Doris Wiederwald and Walter Wasner will be at your disposal for fundamental questions regarding the Mobility Transformation Lab.
28.02. - 02.03.2018
Europe‘s biggest conference on sustainable urban development will take place from February 28th to March 2nd 2018 in Vienna. The Urban Mobility Labs will be part of this conference – in a session on “Cities fast-track innovation with Experimental Zones” as well as in the URBAN FUTURE EXPO! Find out more here.
More information on Urban Mobility Labs can be found in the latest Policy Brief by AustriaTech and bmvit. The Policy Brief was written in German.