What is a Living Lab?

A living lab is a coordinated approach to developing meaningful and practical innovations, bridging the gap between theory and practice. It centers practitioners’ knowledge, integrates insights from researchers and other experts, and generates results in a real-life context.

The Framework

A grounded approach to agricultural innovation

Agriculture is inherently complex and unpredictable. The living lab approach is specifically designed to bridge the gap between theoretical concepts and practical implementation. It drives the development and adoption of management approaches that are robust to real-world challenges by centering producers’ knowledge, situating research in working landscapes, and establishing consistent feedback loops that inform and shape project progress.

Building relationships

Relationships are key. We regularly connect with one another to build trust, cooperation, and a shared commitment to innovation. Strong links within the network allow us to bridge gaps in perspectives and experiences, and adapt to changing conditions together.

Learning from each other

Success hinges on contributions from participants with many different types of expertise. Practical and traditional knowledge are critical, as are insights gained through rigorous scientific approaches. Our commitment to mutual learning ensures that diverse threads of knowledge are woven into every participants’ actions.

Turning knowledge into action

We don’t just grow knowledge, but also help to ensure it is appreciated and applied in the real world. By translating our research findings and collaborative insights into practical strategies, we create solutions that bridge the gap between theory and agricultural practices.

National Network

Leveraging local actions
for a broader impact

Agriculture and Agri-food Canada (AAFC) has created a nationwide network of living labs to better define and expand the use of locally appropriate management, to build connections and share lessons learned, and to contribute to Canada’s emissions reductions targets by promoting the adoption of climate-friendly practices on agricultural land throughout the country.

Be part of shaping the story

All with a stake in prairie agriculture are invited to join us. Your unique contributions can help to shape our approaches, our priorities, and our definitions of success. Get involved to make an impact on the landscapes and communities that carry us forward together.

Producers

Scientists

First Nations