Living Labs

Living labs are research environments that develop, demonstrate, test and validate innovative methods, tools and technologies under real conditions. They are needed to research the energy transition, as the complexity of energy systems and their transformation as well as the impact of the many influencing factors cannot be comprehensively mapped in laboratories or digital twins. This is particularly the case for market and implementation-related issues relating to the planning and implementation of innovative technical solutions, which must be considered in the context of the regulatory framework conditions to be tested. 

The high complexity of the transformation of energy systems to climate neutrality results from the sector coupling and the interdisciplinarity in relation to social science issues, e.g. in relation to the governance of processes and active stakeholder participation. The current and possible future regulatory framework conditions and corresponding business models must be taken into account. 

We therefore design living labs in the field of energy transition and coordinate the scientific work in corresponding projects. As a large research institute, we utilize our broad systems analysis expertise, our technological and monitoring competence in the field of energy systems and grid infrastructures as well as our experience in researching socio-economic issues and the systems analysis evaluation of regulatory framework conditions and the resulting business models.

Fields of Work

In the research topic “Living Labs" we focus on the following fields of work:

Conception and Coordination of Living Labs and Pilot Projects

Technology Trials and Integration in Energy Systems

Regulatory Framework Conditions and Testing Rooms

Stakeholder Analysis and Player Involvement in Co-Creation and Co-Design

Analysis and Management of Transformation Processes in Living Lab Projects

R&D Infrastructure

This infrastructure is available to us at Fraunhofer ISE for our research and development activities:


Accredited Labs

We offer various testing and certification procedures for components and systems in our accredited labs.

Selected Research Projects


Reallabor Großwärmepumpen

Living Laboratory on Large-Scale Heat Pumps



Decentralized Energy Management from the Smart Home to the Urban Quarter