Living Labs serve to address Penn State Values and priorities in the Penn State’s strategic plan to ensure a sustainable future. They address and align with the UN SDGs, integrate sustainability into our research, teaching, outreach, and operations, and enable leading with innovative and aggressive programs that reduce impact on the environment and foster resilient, equitable, thriving communities.
By design, Living Lab Projects are collaboratively designed to meet big goals through incremental research, projects, and hands-on activities.
Living Labs & Penn State Values
Living Labs support action that supports reaching our highest academic, professional, and ethical standards.
By working with a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff, Living Labs respect and honor the dignity of each person, embrace civil discourse, and foster a diverse and inclusive community.
Living Lab projects take place on campus, by campus, and for campus. They inspire us to act responsibly, and be accountable for our decisions, actions, and their consequences.
Living Lab projects seek to address and solve challenges faced on a regular and consistent basis on campus. Planning and conducting them is part of the process of seeking and creating new knowledge and understanding, and fostering creativity and innovation, and benefiting our communities, society, and the environment.
Projects done hyper-locally helps hold us accountable and inspire us to strive for excellence in individual and institutional endeavors and as a leader in higher education.
Living Lab projects enable the campus community to work together for the betterment of our University, the communities we serve, and the world.
Read more about Penn State Values HERE
Living Labs Advance Penn State’s Strategic Plan Goals
DRIVE FUNDAMENTAL SCIENCE RELEVANT TO CRITICAL PROBLEMS
Living Labs can address a range of topics, such as water purification and desalination, energy recovery, genetic crop analysis, stress-tolerant food production, better understanding of the human microbiome, responsible energy production from unconventional gas and oil reserves, and many more. Penn State faculty can incorporate classes and students in performing the fundamental research necessary to help develop urgently needed new technologies.
DEVELOP TECHNOLOGIES FOR IMPLEMENTATION
Living Lab Projects enable the exploration and pursuit of enabling physical, biological, agricultural science, and engineering technologies that encompass environmental, economic, policy, and sustainability considerations. They can include water filtration and irrigation; power management; green building design; energy production, distribution, efficiency, and storage; critical mineral extraction from coal and coal-associated waste; and crop precision application, storage, and refrigeration.
IMPROVE MODELING CAPABILITY
Living Lab Projects can provide predictive models of the water‐energy‐food triad that include interactions with environmental, economic, social, public policy, geological, geophysical, and climate-related systems.
FULLY ENGAGE OUR RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE
Living Lab Projects can help Institutes, colleges, campuses, centers, laboratories, and libraries at Penn State offer personnel and unique infrastructure to address research opportunities related to stewarding Earth’s resources. All will have important roles in resolving fundamental, technological, and integrative questions associated with water, energy, and food.
FORGE BROAD AND RELEVANT PARTNERSHIPS
Living Lab Projects can help make significant inroads against challenges related to water, energy, and food by fostering research partnerships, attracting funding sources, and engaging end users. By utilizing Penn State’s comprehensive inventory of stakeholders (including industry, government, and international organizations), projects will engage them to drive success.
See OUR COMMITMENT TO IMPACT: The Pennsylvania State University’s Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2025 HERE