Vitalise-Project / GAIA Ozean Living Lab

GAIA Ozean Living Lab

About the Living Lab

  • Year of Establishment: 2016
  • Bilbao, Spain
  • Type of Living Lab
    • Urban & Rural Living Lab (Rural areas)
    • Living Lab as a service (SME/Start-up, Government)
    • Living testbed (Technology testing, Tech transfer)
Online Presence

Ozean Living Lab is the first Living Lab focused on citizen-driven innovation for the ocean. It is a transnational Living Lab located in the Basque country that is historically divided between Spain and France, therefore being able to deploy the experimentation with partners in both countries. Ozean Living Lab was born to face territorial challenges by promoting the natural environment and the competitiveness of the companies in the area through open innovation. Its 4 key objectives are:

  1. Protect ecosystems state and biodiversity
  2. Improve ecosystem functioning and promote ecosystem services
  3. Promote societal wellbeing and health
  4. Support the development of a green economy, and sustainable land and water management

The contribution of Ozeanlab as a natural environment living lab based in the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai, encompass physical, psychological/emotional and socio-economic benefits and can be identified at both the individual and community level. We are focusing in elderly stress and performing arts as therapy to work at this living lab as rehabilitation tools.

Goals & Vision

Our vision is to generate and support an inclusive citizen-driven space around open innovation for co-creation, testing and validation of new services and products in order to enhance the wellbeing and sustainability of people and Urdaibai region, and scale up our achievements to other regions in Europe and around the world.


Previous Projects:

  • Connect Innovation Bai: An Interreg Poctefa Project aimed at the testing and validation of different technological products like “Virtual Liquid”, an intelligent and innovative system that offers security in coastal areas, a “VIRTUAL LIFEGUARD” 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Led by GAIA and Bidasoa Activa. This service was carried out through different local innovative technologies associated with the creation of a smart and sustainable ocean. It is a system that brings together the most cutting-edge technologies of companies in the Basque Country, SMEs, clusters and technological startups for the development of new smart and innovative through a system that covers the need for security in coastal areas of the Basque Country, based in cases and real data of the same.
  • Nautical Safety of the athlete: Project led by the University of ESTIA in collaboration with the Communauté Pays Basque to measure the performance of professional canoes

Running/Ongoing Projects:

  • OCEAN I3: PLASTICS FREE PROJECT: Design and development of a creative platform with activities and solutions to fight against plastics in the Urdaibai environment and that encourages the local economy and culture. A collaborative project between GAIA, Gernika-Lumo municipality, Euskampus and La OceanTech
  • WATER LAB – W3D Project: The W3D project is committed to innovation in the optimization of water services and to taking a step forward to achieve maximum efficiency in the management of a resource as essential as water with the application of new technologies in the sector such as the incorporation of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, IoT, Cybersecurity and CPSs (Cyber Physical Systems) technologies, remote monitoring or 3D GIS.

Area(s) of work

Areas of work: Health & Wellbeing, Social Innovation, Environment, Culture and Creativity.

Subsections: Active and Heatlhy Aging, independent living, environmental sustainability, gender inequality and social inclusion, cultural identity and basque


The pilot area in which we operate, the Biosphere Reserve of Urdaibai, is characterized by high ecological and landscape richness. And the innovation here lies in two main aspects:

  • The combination of limitations imposed by the characteristics of the territory and its use as opportunities for the business fabric of the region
  • The particular management model in Living Lab format that makes it possible to turn hidden opportunities into a smart growth model

The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, located in the heart of Biscay (Basque Country), encompasses 22,000 hectares and is made up of a mosaic of cliffs, mountains, beaches, rivers and underground waters, which offer a spectacular landscape full of animal and human life. In order, on the one hand, to harmonize the conservation of biological diversity, heritage and cultural manifestations, and on the other, economic development, as well as the relationship between people and their environment, in 1984 UNESCO included Urdaibai in its MaB program, through its declaration as a Biosphere Reserve. The territory of the Biosphere Reserve includes 22 municipalities, one of them being Gernika-Lumo, one of the most populated towns in the region.

Ozean Living Lab is working in close collaboration with Gernika-Lumo municipality, with the participation of entities that work closely with civil society such as the City Council itself and Gernika Gogoratuz, a Research Center for Peace created by decision of the Basque Parliament in April 1987, coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the bombing of Gernika. The aim of this collaboration is to generate a space for dialogue, citizen-centred, generating an open innovation ecosystem based on an inclusive user co-creation approach, integrating research and innovation processes in a real-life community and setting.

Staff Expertise

Experts in wellbeing, silver economy, environmental sustainability, exploitation and commercialization.

Stakeholders Population

Stakeholders Population Age Social and Health condition Max nr. of subjects that can be enrolled for TA Other info
Older adults 60+ Healthy 30 Institutionalized patients and independently living people as well
Older adults 60+ cognitive impairment (from mild to severe) 30 Institutionalized patients and independently living people as well


Researchers at GAIA Ozean Living Lab can benefit from the following services:

Networking and capacity building: Expert opinion, and advisory services; Grant writing and funding application support service; Innovation network orchestration; Marketing and sales support; Stakeholder (and partner) analysis and mapping. Planning to offer: Capacity building; Temporary research funding; Panel management; Public procurement support services.

Project planning and management: Intake and matching; Expert opinion, and advisory services; Living lab project planning and management. Planning to offer: Panel management.

Market and competitor intelligence services: Competitor and market analysis and benchmarking; Expert opinion, and advisory services; Stakeholder (and partner) analysis and mapping. Planning to offer: Access to data; Foresighting (trends, weak signals and wild cards); Legal, regulation and safety standard support; Post-market surveillance and market acceptance testing.

Co-creation: Co-creation session; Expert opinion, and advisory services; Stakeholder (and partner) analysis and mapping. Planning to offer: Foresighting (trends, weak signals and wild cards); Legal, regulation and safety standard support; Public procurement support services.

Testing and validation: Expert opinion, and advisory services; Idea selection and testing; Impact assessment and validation test; Prototyping test; Small-scale real-life testing and experimentation; Usability testing. Planning to offer: Concept and proof-of-concept tests – concept feasibility study; Large-scale real-life testing and piloting; Post-market surveillance and market acceptance testing; Simulation test.

Advisory services: Expert opinion, and advisory services. Planning to offer: Public procurement support services; Legal, regulation and safety standard support.

Marketing and sales support: Expert opinion, and advisory services. Planning to offer: Legal, regulation and safety standard support; Marketing and sales support; Public procurement support services.

Visit our Living Lab Harmonisation Wiki Page for detailed descriptions of the Research & Development services that Living Labs offer.


Researchers at GAIA Ozean Living Lab have acces to the following technologies and devices:

Activity Tracking/Monitoring

  • Calories burnt (Xiaomi MiBand5, Galaxy Watch 3)
  • Physical activity (Xiaomi MiBand5, Galaxy Watch 3)
  • Steps (Xiaomi MiBand5, Galaxy Watch 3)

Assisting Technology: Walking speed (Xiaomi MiBand5, Galaxy Watch 3)

Biometrics: Heart rate (Xiaomi MiBand5, Galaxy Watch 3)

Visit our Living Lab Harmonisation Wiki Page for more details regarding Living Lab technologies and devices.

Use Cases based on Researchers Expertise

Researchers from the following research domains have been identified as the best fir to conduct research to GAIA Ozean Living Lab (the list is non-exhaustive):

Policy Makers: Studying the impact of new service models or new collaboration models in healthcare, designing or improving policies, gathering requirements for improving health and wellbeing of citizens, co-creation of research methodologies for policy making.

Experts in sport science: Experimenting novel training methods, and their effectiveness in various dimensions such as safety, engagement, and physical capabilities. Studying the impact of physical movements in various functions and wellbeing features

Experts in performing arts: Creative health improvement (e.g., for cognitive decline) through music and dance (example: redesigning public spaces into healthy spaces: test and validate Smart methodologies, products and services through folk dance)

Business developers: Studying the product-market fit, matching a solution with a societal need, learning about the user acceptance of products and services, as well as about potential products to develop, willingness to pay, business model and ideal route to market

Experts in applied economics: Evaluating cost and performance in different healthcare processes, situations and public health

Citizen Scientists / users as co-researchers: User empowerment, training, design, analysis and implementation of strategies and methodologies for user engagement and for raising awareness and generating citizen participation

Innovation and design management researchers: Ecosystem and innovation management research, social network analysis. Evaluating how health and wellbeing ecosystem operates between different actors at local, regional, national and international level, including also scaling and commercialization