Invest4Nature is a Research and Innovation project. Therefore, the project has two major focus areas: gain a better understanding of the economic and financial performance of nature-based solutions (Research) and develop tools to promote investments in nature-based solutions (Innovation).
To achieve that, Invest4Nature will build on the latest scientific research, the outcomes and learnings of other projects on nature-based solutions and on already-existing cases where nature-based solutions are implemented: the Invest4Nature Living Labs.
Living Labs are based on the idea that the important societal questions of our time can only be answered when different sectors work together: science, policy, industry and society. Living Labs are places of experimentation, where hypotheses can be tested. However, they are not situated in a sterile, isolated lab environment but in the real world where the user interacts with the topic of the Living Lab. For instance, if the goal is to test if tenants find their building more livable if it has a rooftop garden, the rooftop garden would be installed right in their building and the residence has become a Living Lab.
Living Labs are user-centered. This means that the tenants in this example would not be observed by experts as research objects, but that they would be involved as active partners in the innovation process of co-creating the arrangement of plants in the rooftop garden. This ensures that the result of the innovation process fits to the users’ needs.
The NBS cases in the Living Labs already exist as they have been developed in other projects. They cover a broad range of nature-based solutions, involved stakeholders, local challenges and landscapes: from kelp forests in Norway’s fjords to green corridors in Portugal’s cities.
The Living Labs play many important roles in the project. To create a better understanding of the performance and benefits of nature-based solutions, the Living Labs provide real life data and evidence from real cases of NBS implementation. To understand the overall needs of important stakeholders such as companies that work with nature-based solutions and investors on a larger scale, the Living Labs will share their local experiences. The Living Labs act as testbeds to find out if the tools developed in Invest4Nature to promote investments in nature-based solutions work.