Expert group (2015)

Expert group on Open labs

The expert group has produced a White Book.
It is a joint initiative by the newPIC chair and the ANRT (FutuRIS platform).

This page introduces a description of the activities run by the group


"White Book
of Open Labs
in France"





"White Book
of Open Labs
in France"




Creativity and innovation rely on evolutionary practices. The emergence of new technologies (notably the transformation into the digital world), the implication of public research agencies, and the increasing role of active end-users in new collaborative processes deaply impact innovation-related practices. Recent investigations have stressed that private companies do not process innovation as they used to do yesterday (Baromètre Global Innovation 2011). Innovation roots now in local dynamics, where self-organized communities play pivotal roles. This new paradigm prevails from the identification of opportunities towards the exploration of new solutions.

Today, new co-creation and interaction spaces emerge, with the subsequent original organizational modalities: "open labs". They adopt different modalities: « Idea lab », « Living lab » or « Fab lab ». These spaces momstly elaborate on bottom-up rationales. They aim at mobilizing a wide range of experiences and of competencies: techno specialists, engineers, sociologists, designers, active users and lead-users, etc.

These initiatives situate in a deliberate and original path towards "openness" and co-conception, that is privileged all along the innovation process or at specific steps. Such an interaction may emerge in diverse configurations: open labs may be installed/supported by universities, private companies, public bodies, and auto-organized communities.



In France, these initiatives are no longer an exception. Numerous « open labs » do exist today. They originate in very dissimilar initiatives, and adopt different organizational models.

What about these initiatives and the associated models? The expert group will inquire the following questions:

  • Role and importance of the "open labs" in the actual innovation strategies and practices enacted by the industry and French public research agencies;
  • Appraisal of the "open labs" as a transformation vector for innovation and creativity management in the industry and in public research agencies;
  • Appropriation of these new initiatives by the industry and by public research agencies.

This project features an original design in articulating together the activities of an expert group and a research project, both facilitated together by the FutuRIS platform at the French association ANRT, and by the newPIC chair at Paris School of Business. The project will develop in 2015. The newPIC chair will mobilize several faculty members from PSB and two Master students (positioned as interns at ANRT) developing their Master dissertation about the same topic. The expert group will also interview executives from the industry, innovators actually using "open labs", managers in charge of "open labs", finance specialists, stakeholders active in local clusters, etc.

The project in context

"Living labs" emerged from initiatives launched in 2006 with the European Research Agenda. They deal with the development of a wide range of potential products and services. They mainly valorize and take advantage of the end-user's experience. "Living labs" are sometimes characterized as free and "open labs" committed to using new creative methods. They aim at letting ideas emerge, or at identifying eventual market opportunities with potential "blue ocean" strategies. More recently, "living labs" have started to cope with the issues incured by 'smart cities' projects. The mobilization of skills and competences for "living labs" covers a wide range of options. They staff professionals, users, and also students. In France, numerous initiatives emerge, as shows the recently established France Living Labs  association. Projects usually contribute to the activities about the digitalization of services and territories, and most often develop in close interaction with the French "competitity clusters" [Pôles de compétitivité].



"Fab Labs" emerged in the USA at the initiative of several MIT experts. They follow "do it yourself" and "lean" principles, and elaborate directly on newly emerged fast prototyping technologies such as simulation and 3D printers. They are most often linked to the opportunities emerged with the digital world, and installed the related "makers spaces" around such investments. Existing "Fab labs" result now from individual initiatives, from governmental (or local public) programs, or from initiatives supported by universities or by the industry. Several objectives are already identified in the literature: learning by doiong, the materialization of "lean" strategies, the necessity of direct and soon interaction with lead users, the testing of insights introduced by active users, etc. In France, several initiatives coexist today. Some of them are funded by the French government (ministry in charge of Indutry) or by local administrations.



Whatever their actual form, labels do exist for most modalities of the the currently existing "open labs". This is the case in the USA with "Fab labs", where the MIT installed a "Fab Lab" certification process in order to singularize the "open labs" compliant with a list of precise specifications and rules. 85 structures have been labelled as "Fab labs" in France, including 2 in Paris area. About 300 "open labs" have been identified and labelled as "Living labs" by the European network ENoLL, among which 48 structures in France. Lots of other structures have developed under these general principles without requesting any type of certification whatsoever. Several French universities currently prepare for the installation of "fab labs". French research agencies (such as CEA) have already installed an "Idea lab". The industry, in discrepant sectors, also developed (or currently installs) similar initiaves as internal facilities expanding and supporting their innovation process (for instance SEB, AIRBUS, ALCATEL LUCENT, SAFRAN (SNECMA), or RENAULT).


The group will gather about 20 experts from different horizons with an experience in the industry and in public research agencies, and also entrepreneurs, desigers, economists, sociologists. All will have a direct experience with "open labs". The group will follow a bimestrial meeting schedule, between January and July 2015. Working sessions will be fed with interviews, case studies and field research investigations elaborated by ANRT staff, PSB faculties and students, and with the analysis of monographs on the topic.

At the end of the group's activities, ANRT / FutuRIS and the newPIC chair will jointly produce a 'White book', and widely disseminate it with conference and throughout the internet.


Meeting schedule

Meetings are held at ANRT premises
Address: 41 boulevard des Capucines, F-75002 Paris
Subway: Opera, Madelaine; RER: Auber

  • JAN-14-2015 (Wed) at 14h30 (Paris time)
  • MAR-10-2015 (Tue) at 14h30 (Paris time)
  • APR-14-2015 (Tue) at 14h30 (Paris time)
  • MAY-19-2015 (Tue) at 14h00 (Paris time)
  • JUL-07-2015 (Tue) at 14h00 (Paris time)
  • OCT-14-2015 (Wed) at 14h00 (Paris time)






Contact details

  • Nadege BOUQUIN
    email: bouquin (at)
    tel: +33-0-155 35 26 66
    email: lucchese (at)
    tel: +33-0-155 35 26 62
  • Address:
    41 boulevard des Capucines,
    F-75002 Paris, France
  • Fax: +33-0-155 35 25 55
  • website:
    (subdomain: FUTURIS)



newPIC chair
  • Valerie MERINDOL
    email: vm (at)
    gsm: +33-0-617 09 06 43
    email: dwv (at)
    gsm: +33-0-609 52 54 56
  • Address:
    59 rue Nationale,
    F-75013 Paris, France
  • Fax: +33-0-1 777 25 233
  • website:
    (submenu: Research projects)


Organization, Facilitation

  • Pierre Bitard, Advisor to
    the ANRT General Delegate
  • Nadège Bouquin, ANRT,
    Deputy director of the FutuRIS program
  • Ignasi Capdvila, Assoc. Prof at PSB
  • Alexis Chiovetta, M2 student at PSB
  • Bernard David, Scientific advisor, CEA,
    Directorate for strategy and programs
  • Paul Lucchese, ANRT,
    Director of the FutuRIS program
  • Valentine Mahdavy,
    head of M2 Business Consulting at PSB
  • Valérie Merindol,
    Prof at PSB
    newPIC chair co-director
  • David W. Versailles,
    Prof at PSB
    newPIC chair co-director
  • Thomas Voisin, M2 student at PSB


Group members

  • Sylvain Allano
    Scientific director, PSA Peugeot Citroen
  • Vincent Charlet
    Director, Frabrique de l'Industrie
  • Jean Compeau
    Director, SEB Lab, Groupe SEB
  • Nicolas Cordier
    Director, Social business incubator
    Leroy Merlin - ADEO
  • Xavier Drouet
    Project director "Tertiary education, R&D, Territories",
    Commissariat général à l'égalité des territoires
  • Marie-Françoise Guyonnaud
    President, Fondaterra
  • Michel Ida
    Director, MINATEC Ideas Lab, CEA
  • Dominique Jego
    Director of the tertiary education dept.,
    Bouygues construction



  • Pierre Joseph
    Office for Prospective and Research,
    Commissariat général à l'égalité des territoires
  • Bernard Llédos
    AIR LIQUIDE, "Societal approval" mission
  • Patrick Lléréna
    Professor, Univ. of Strasbourg
  • Philippe Naim
    Head of the Atelier Innovation Service,
    SAFRAN - Snecma
  • Frédérique Pain
    Research director, STRATE School of Design
  • Philippe Roy
    Deputy General Delegate, CAP DIGITAL
  • Eric Seuillet
    General Delegate, CREATIVE CLUSTER
  • Cécile Trivery
    SEB Lab, Groupe SEB
  • Brigitte Trousse
    President, France Living Labs
  • Philippe Valéry
    Vice-président, Strategy and Coopération, THALES


PSB research team



Faculty members
  • Nicolas AUBOUIN
    Assoc. Professor, PSB
    email: naubouin (at)
  • Ignasi CAPDEVILA
    Assoc. Professor, PSB
    email: ignasi (at)
  • Alexandra LE CHAFFOTEC
    Assoc. Professor, PSB
    email: alechaffotec (at)


  • Alexis CHIOVETTA
    M2 student,
    Master Business Consulting, PSB
    Intern at ANRT / FutuRIS
    email: ac (at)
  • Thomas VOISIN
    M2 student,
    Master Business Consulting, PSB
    Intern at ANRT / FutuRIS
    email: tv (at)

Meeting #1 - JAN. 14th, 2015

The first meeting of the expert group was held on Jan. 14th, 2015. With most group members present, we had the possibility to discuss the specificities of "open labs" and the main issues at stake for the industry and for public research agencies. The meeting made it possible to investigate a series of key dimensions and of interview guidelines for field research (observation and interviews). Return on experience will be delivered during the next meetings.

Among the main important key dimensions to be investigated in field research:

  • the diversity of mobilized competencies;
  • actual work modes for collaboration, facilitation and management; open innovation rationales; methods and tools for running projects;
  • ambiences, atmospheres, and design of "open lab" spaces;
  • the support to project concretization or the strategies for end-users mobilization.

In each dimension, strategies, expectations, difficulties met in the execution, and the appropriation by the industry and by public research agencies, have to be investigated.

Meeting #2 - MAR. 10th, 2015

Presentation par E. Gaudin

Presentation par S. Allano

The second meeting of the group held on March 10th at ANRT premises in Paris. The discussion focused on the role of "open labs" in the industry, in reference to field research and to presetations delivered by

  • Sylvain Allano, Scientific Director, Technologies for the future,
    [Directeur scientifique et technologies du futur], at PSA Peugeot Citroen
  • Etienne Gaudin, Innovation director [Directeur de l’innovation]
    at Groupe Bouygues.

Slideshow presentations delivered by Sylvain Allano and Etienne Gaudin are available for download from the document repository, with links in the section below.

During the last part of the session, Valerie Merindol and David W. Versailles presented preliminary results emerged from field research and interviews carried out in the industry. This part of the session aimed at discussing initial comparisons between the various situations met during our field research in the industry.

Meeting #3 - APR. 14th, 2015

Presentation par M. Ida

The third meeting of the group held on April 14th at ANRT premises in Paris. The discussion focused on the role of "open labs" in public research. The session stressed the diversity of projects launched by universities and research agencies. The session organised with three presentations:

  • Michel Ida, Director of CEA IDEAs Lab:
    The presentation has stressed the CEA's long lasting experience in the area. Michel Ida analyzed the various organizational and funding mechanisms ruling upon public-private cooperation at the CEA Ideas Lab;
  • Laurent Dupont, Scientific coordinator at Lorraine Smart Cities Fab/Living Lab:
    The structure has been initiated by research teams installed at the Univ of Lorraine (Nancy), and it covers now both a Fab lab and a Living lab. Lorraine Smart cities has launched several initiatives in order to renew ideas and approaches about the use of technologies in cities.
  • Ignasi Capdevila, contributor to the newPIC chair and faculty member at PSB (ex-PSB):
    The presentation reported about a series of interviews and field research in reference to the PMC Lab, the Fab Lab installed at/by Pierre & Marie Curie University in Paris. The lab represents a joint initiative installed both by PMC faculty members and PMC master students. The presentation has stressed the internal organization and actual practices, with a special focus on the appreciations on governance, strategy, and introduced by each stakeholder category.

Slideshow presentations delivered during that meeting are available for group members from the section below.

Presentation par L. Dupont
Presentation par I. Capdevila

Meeting #4 - MAY. 19th, 2015

The fourth meeting of the group held on May 19th at ANRT premises.
On the agenda, a presentation about Usine.IO and two presentations about thematic "labs" experiences in the domains of medical research, and of arts and culture.

  • Gary Cigé, manager at Usine.IO,
    presented the rationales for the installation of Usine.IO as a business initiative, its evolution and perspectives;
  • Alexandra LeChaffotec, contributor to the newPIC chair and faculty member at PSB (ex-PSB) reported about several "Labs" in medical ecosystems, either targeted to medical research or to the improvement of the medical environment for "users". Cases were taken from 'Lusage' and 'Street Lab' in Paris, and 'La Fabrique de l'Hospitalité' in Strasbourg;
  • Nicolas Aubouin, contributor to the newPIC chair and faculty member at PSB (ex-PSB) reported about the "Labs" installed at the Cite des Sciences in Paris (La Villette) and aiming at forstering the dissemination of arts and scientific culture.

Presentation par G. Cigé Presentation par A. LeChaffoted Presentation par N. Aubouin

Presentation par N. Aubouin  

Slideshow presentations delivered during that meeting are available for group members from the section below.

Meeting #5 - JUL. 7th, 2015

meeting JUL 2015


The meeting has been devoted to the discussion of perspectives and contents under preparation for the White Book, and for the subsequent communication.
We discussed first the general structure of the White Book, and the general terminology to be used. The group decided to introduce a special reference to the term "Open Labs" in order to zoom out from the particulars of each case study, and to introduce the potential for best practices.
We also described the organization of the file sharing system set up for the interaction between members and facilitators of the expert group for the redaction of the White Book.
Intense discussions prepared for the redaction of the White book, that will be proposed to the expert group by SEPT 17th, 2015; they elaborated about a series of presentations:

  • Valerie Merindol and David W. Versailles, co-heads of the newPIC chair at PSB, described different aspects to be further commented in the chapter dedicated to Open Labs experiences in the industry;
  • Alexis Chiovetta, Master student at PSB and intern at ANRT-FutuRIS, introduced a synthesis about the resources used in Open Labs by the industry;
  • Thomas Voisin, Master student at PSB and intern at ANRT-FutuRIS, presented a recapitulation about the openness and particulars of the offices used for Open Labs by the industry;
  • Ignasi Capdevila, contributor to the newPIC chair and faculty member at PSB (ex-PSB), introduced preliminary conclusions in relation with the category of "mixed" Open Labs, running a service model to communities and/or to the industry;
  • Alexandra Le Chaffotec and Nicolas Aubouin, contributors to the newPIC chair and faculty members at PSB (ex-PSB), presented initial conclusions in relation with Open Labs active in the health sector (hospitals), and preliminary results about Open Labs experiences in arts- and culture-related domains. They also cross-compared their thematic applications and therefore prefigured the general comparison to be made available with the White Book.

meeting JUL 2015

meeting JUL 2015

Slideshow presentations delivered during the meeting are available for group members from the section below.

Meeting #6 - OCT. 14th, 2015

meeting OCT 2015

meeting OCT 2015



The initial draft of the White Book has been released to the group members between SEPT. 17th and OCT 10th, 2015, for a synthesis of all experts' reviews and contributions by the end of October.
During the last session of the expert group on OCT. 14th, 2015, the group members have discussed the elements of a synthesis prepared by newPIC faculties and ANRT / FutuRIS. The session also wrapped up about the group activities. The valorization plan associated with the White Book was also discussed, and the first important manifestation was held during the IEA 2015 conference (see below).


meeting OCT 2015

Background information

  • Etat des lieux et typologie des ateliers de fabrication numérique
    Rapport d'étude de la Direction générale des entreprises,
    Ministère de l'Economie, de l'industrie et du numérique
    Conseil et Recherche, FING, 2014, 107 pages

  • "Makerspaces and Fab Labs,
    Exploring the physical and the digital"

    by Suzanne Bjorner,
    Online Searcher, Sep-Oct 2013, pp 38-43

  • "The story of MIT FabLab Norway:
    Community embedding of peer production"

    Cindy Kohtala and Camille Bosqué,
    Journal of Peer Production
    , ISSN: 2213-5316

  • "Sharing is sparing: open knowledge sharing in Fab Labs"
    Patricia Wolff, Peter Troxler, Pierre-Yves Kocher, Julie Harboe, and URs Gaudenz,
    Journal of Peer Production, ISSN: 2213-5316 (11p)

  • Editorial Introduction - Special issue on Living Labs
    Bernhard Katzy and Stefan Klein,
    The electronic Journal for Virtual Organizations and Networks,
    Vol 10, August 2008, "Special issue on Living Labs"

  • "Living Labs and Open innovation: Roles and applicability"
    Esteve Almirall and Jonathan Wareham,
    The electronic Journal for Virtual Organizations and Networks,
    Vol 10, August 2008, "Special issue on Living Labs"

Documentation in relation with the expert group activities

Some files might be reserved for the group members. In that case, there is a second series of icons on the right hand side, after the lock picture...
Members of the expert group can access the files in clicking either on the lock icon, or on the file types icons.

  • Mission statement
    Open Labs expert group


  • List of group members, invited contributors and interviewees
    (Contact details are for group members only)



  • Presentation delivered on JAN-14-2015
    as an introduction about the topics to be covered by the expert group
    Pictures of the meeting are presented supra



  • Report about the JAN-14-2015 Meeting
    with orientations for field research activities and interview guidelines



  • Presentation delivered on MAR-10-2015
    by the group's facilitators



  • Presentation delivered by Sylain ALLANO,
    PSA Peugeot Citroen,
    on MAR-10-2015



  • Presentation delivered by Etienne GAUDIN,
    on MAR-10-2015


  • Report about the MAR-10-2015 Meeting



  • Presentation delivered by Michel IDA,
    CEA (Grenoble Ideas Lab),
    on APR-14-2015



  • Presentation delivered by Laurent DUPONT,
    Lorraine Smart Cities Fab/Living Lab,
    on APR-14-2015



  • Presentation delivered by Ignasi CAPDEVILA,
    PSB (ex-PSB), chair newPIC,
    on APR-14-2015


  • Report about the APR-14-2015 Meeting



  • Presentation delivered by Gary CIGE',
    Manager at Usine.IO,
    on MAY-19-2015



  • Presentation delivered by Alexandra LE CHAFFOTEC,
    PSB (ex-PSB), chair newPIC
    on MAY-19-2015



  • Presentation delivered by Nicolas AUBOUIN,
    PSB (ex-PSB), chair newPIC
    on MAY-19-2015



  • Report about the MAY-19-2015 Meeting



  • Presentation delivered on JUIL-07-2015
    by the group's facilitators
    with perspectives and preliminary conclusions about the chapters of the White Book


  • Schedule and internal deadlines
    for the elaboration of the White Book by the expert group


  • Rationales for the connection with the private shared drive


  • Executive summary distributed to the group members
    DCE's report "Etat des lieux et typologie des ateliers de fabrication numérique"




  • Executive summary distributed to the group members
    eJOV special issue about Living Labs


Internal activities for the elaboration of the White Book


Experts willing to contribute to the elaboration and the reviewing of our White Book have access to all preliminary documents. These documents are located on a private shared drive accessible after clicking on the lock picture on this line. Members of the expert group can contact the webmaster via email if they lost their login-password.