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Journal article

If living labs are the answer – what's the question? A review of the literature

Living laboratories University-industry collaboration Educational innovations Sustainable living Australia

The world's economy is becoming increasingly knowledge intensive. This will drive further technological, societal and organisational change. A knowledge intensive economy gives the producers of knowledge – universities – a potentially key role in shaping our future.

However, this paper shows that neither Australian industry, nor universities are good at collaborating for innovation. Change is needed but change is hard, resource intensive and never ending. This paper demonstrates why change is so difficult and suggests steps for success. It demonstrates why effective leadership is central to the change process and suggests further applied research to understand the practical obstacles that are preventing universities from developing partnerships for innovation.

It defines a principle for evidence-based innovation that is fit for the Anthropocene and proposes the sustainable development goals as a measure to understand the impact of university research in order to help move society in the direction society is seeking.

It also pries into the Pandora's box of the role of Universities in partnering for innovation in the Anthropocene and proposes further research on the role of ‘leading by doing’ on potential partnerships for innovation.

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