iMinds (formerly known as the Interdisciplinary institute for Broadband Technology or IBBT) is an independent research institute founded by the Flemish government to stimulate ICT innovation. iMinds supports and performs multidisciplinary research into the development and exploitation of ICT and broadband services. In this research iMinds investigates the technological, legal, business and sociological aspects of the domain. It unites more than 600 researchers from the Flemish universities.
iMinds embeds the iLab.o. This lab for open innovation facilitates all Living Lab research activities for iMinds. For this it has developed a range of supporting Living Lab services (for user management, logging & monitoring, business modelling, rapid prototyping,…). Recently iMinds has been acknowledged by the Flemish government as the core partner for Living Lab research in Flanders. Internationally, iLab.o is founding member and hosts the international office of the European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL), the federation of 274 benchmarked Living Labs. iLab.o is according to current estimates the largest Living Lab facility worldwide, both in terms of supported projects and of dedicated Living Lab specialists.
In addition, the iMinds iLab.t will also take part in the project. iLab.t is a technology and knowledge center at iMinds to support experimental multi-disciplinary research for future internet technology and innovative ICT servers and applications. iLab.t contains an extensive set of user devices, network technologies and advanced testing and measurement equipment and has international network connectivity. iLab.t also hosts the head-end equipment of the Kortrijk living lab.
The third iMinds entity that will participate in SPECIFI is the Digital Society research department (iMinds-DS). This department, associated with the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the University of Ghent, is specialised in fundamental, applied and contract research in the area of ICT, markets and policy. It has ample experience in researching social and economic aspects of ICT deployment. The over 80 full-time researchers at iMinds-DS are among Europe’s leading experts in business modelling, user research, and policy analysis related to new ICT systems and services.
Together, iLab.o, iLab.t and iMinds-DS have been involved in numerous EU projects and have built expertise in large research and development projects, both on European as well as on national level. iMinds is currently a.o. coordinating the EU-CIP project APOLLON (Advanced Pilots of Living Labs Operating in a Network) that focuses on the cross-border collaboration between Living Labs and SMEs, and the EPIC (European Platform for Intelligent Cities) project that focuses on testing Cloud Computing services for Smart Cities. For the next 5 years, iMinds will also be coordinating all business model and stakeholder engagement activities of the European Future Internet PPP programme, as part of the CONCORD coordination project.
iMinds, in its capacity of iLab.o, iLab.t and iMinds-DS, will act as project coordinator, WP lead for the User Requirements Analysis and Methodology, and experimenting (tech) partner in the Kortrijk pilot. For this purpose, iMinds will use its Living Lab and Living Lab specific tools and methodologies. In addition, iMinds is also involved in the work package on technical requirements and business modeling.