SMEs happy with HSB Living Lab
During the spring of 2023, Johanneberg Science Park mapped the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that has conducted tests in HSB Living Lab. The purpose was to gain a better overview of the SMEs' use of the lab, valuable insights into how they experienced the process and how the lab can become even more attractive in the future.
A total of 42 SMEs has been involved or driven 55 different projects in the HSB Living Lab between 2015 and 2022, including areas such as energy, water, acoustics, property management, social sustainability, and circular economy. The companies came from different parts of Sweden, and an Italian company also participated in tests in the lab.
Eight of the companies responded to an in-depth survey about their experience of the lab, with 50 percent rating it as very good and 38 percent as good. No one rated their experience as bad, and all respondents would recommend HSB Living Lab to other companies and innovators.
When asked why they chose to execute projects in HSB Living Lab, some mentioned that the lab was an excellent test environment where they could also find test subjects for their innovations. Others emphasized the available measurement infrastructure and the relevant member organizations, while some received invitations from HSB Living Lab's partners to participate in testing.
“A well-known and unique arena for technology verification in a real-life environment with good measurement infrastructure and relevant member organizations,” writes an anonymous respondent in the survey.
The companies highlighted that they received good assistance from the on-site staff, access to real test subjects, an authentic living environment, and exposure to stakeholders.
“I felt that we received good assistance with what we needed from the on-site staff at HSB Living Lab. It was always easy to book meetings and to access the premises we needed to enter. Easy to access with the help of the app.”
Regarding less positive aspects, some of the companies mentioned that the COVID-19 pandemic caused delays in their testing. Others pointed out that the legal agreements were cumbersome and complicated for SMEs and could be simplified. Additional challenges included apartments being too small for testing and a lack of engagement in the projects from HSB's side.
It is worth noting that 67 percent of the respondents stated that their projects in HSB Living Lab had led to expanded business opportunities, new customers, or markets after the completion of the project.
“It is pleasing that the companies were so satisfied with their experience in HSB Living Lab, and we hope that the results from this survey can be used to attract more SMEs to initiate projects here,” says Evdoxia Kouraki, project manager from Johanneberg Science Park.