After one year, we pause to wonder: what has INTEGER achieved in the regional innovation ecosystem of Hamburg? As Kai Schnackenberg said, the co-creation process that INTEGER fosters, “is an ongoing process”. While we may not have all the answers yet, we can share the story of its progress thus far and set the stage for future expectations.

A key aspect of this journey started with a cross-regional learning between Malopolska (Krakow), Catalonia (Barcelona) and Hamburg. In Hamburg, exploration began by studying living labs in other regions. Recognizing the potential, stakeholders in Hamburg decided that the Leibniz Living Lab Bremen with its concrete district approach has the highest potential for Hamburg.

The City of Hamburg tries to improve innovative models of primary care with its initiative of local health centers science 2021. The concept revolves around organizing health services and prevention initiatives in local health centers within a district. The idea of creating a living lab environment around the local health centers is to give an exchange format for the innovative solutions. This can help tailor solutions to address specific community needs. For instance, in districts with high migration rates, innovative health solutions catering to diverse languages and backgrounds were developed. Conversely, in areas with a large older adult population, the focus shifted towards promoting healthy ageing.

The project activities attracted the attention of the Patriotic Society’s Working Group for Sustainable Urban Health and the project was asked to present current developments. Since its foundation in 1765, the Patriotic Society has demonstrated civic engagement. The Patriotic Society provides impetus for social improvements and puts ideas into practice. Independent of party political interests and ideological positions, it provides a forum for the free exchange of opinions.

In a world of change, the question arises in Hamburg – as everywhere else – as to how best to ensure sustainability and health. This question concerns not only experts inside and outside the healthcare sector but also urban society as a whole.

On the March 4, recent developments related to INTEGER activities and especially on the Hamburg Living Lab were presented in the working group. This gathering aimed to facilitate knowledge-sharing among stakeholders in the city of Hamburg. The session brought together 16 participants from the quadruple helix, including 4 from civil society, 4 from private companies, 2 from universities and 6 from public authorities. In this meeting it was discussed how the Living Lab approach can be harmonized with existing initiatives in the city. It was also discussed which other actors are important to support this process and to what extent transferability to other districts is possible.

Aspects of social space orientation were discussed and whether a strict orientation towards existing models in the city, such as the RISE (Regional Incubator for Social Entrepreneus) concept , appears to make sense.

The ideas presented received broad approval and the working group will support further developments in a positive manner. 

Looking ahead, there are exciting prospects on the horizon. Plans for an innovation summit in the autumn in the city center of Hamburg, present an opportunity to integrate INTEGER in the social innovation framework. Moreover, the focus remains on fostering concrete processes with local health centers, ensuring that the initiatives bring tangible benefits to the communities they serve.

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