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Living Labs at The City of Calgary

​Calgary’s reputation as a Living Lab is growing and The City of Calgary is helping to support our innovation ecosystem. We offer a simple process to make public spaces, transportation corridors and land more accessible for the research and testing of innovative solutions.

Apply to The City's Living Labs


Is your company or organization looking to access The City’s Living Labs to help with product development or research? Follow these simple steps.

  1. Check out our frequently asked questions to ensure The City's Living Labs is a good fit for your need.
  2. Fill out the Living Labs Intake Form
  3. Email the form to us at LivingLabs@calgary.ca  
  • Have questions?

    Let's develop Calgary as a Living Lab together to increase opportunities for everyone. For more information, please email LivingLabs@calgary.ca.

About Living Labs


The City owns many assets across our community. As a Living Lab, we offer City infrastructure for companies, researchers and individuals to test and try ideas and products in a real-life environment.

Our first step begins with opening up infrastructure in a safe and secure manner.

Here are just a few examples of Living Labs we’ve implemented:
 
  • Industrial land – drones flight area
  • Roadways – first public facing autonomous vehicle pilot in Canada
  • Calgary Film Centre – augmented reality demonstrations
  • Warehouses – indoor GPS research and testing
  • Devonian Gardens – IoT agriculture sensors (humidity, soil contents, lighting)
  • Dark fibre – world-class quantum computing and fibre-as-a-sensor research
  • LoRaWAN (long range, low power, wireless area network) – GPS asset tracking sensors
  • Water flow meter – water sensor technology testing

A Living Lab supports increased economic diversification and jobs for Calgarians. It can help entrepreneurs bring big ideas to life, support investment in our local economy and make Calgary more business friendly. Some exciting experiments have already launched around Calgary, as The City works with industry and researchers to support their needs.

Living Labs will continue to develop new processes, policies and agreements while identifying risks and removing barriers to accelerate progress.

Calgary is a Smart City

Find out how Living Labs helps Calgary be a Smart City by using innovation, data and connected technology to improve quality of life for Calgarians.

Learn more about Smart City

Frequently asked questions


What does The City of Calgary’s Living Labs program do?

As a Living Lab, we offer City assets and infrastructure for companies, researchers and individuals to test their products and try out their ideas in a real-life environment. The end goal is to enable innovators to test and validate their designed product or service before it is released to the public to help ensure it will be generally feasible and provide utility for global users’ daily lives.

Who is the Living Labs program for?

The program can help any company, researcher or individual looking to access City assets or infrastructure to test their products or services in a real-life environment. Please note this program is for research and testing purposes only.

What kind of assets and infrastructure do you offer?

The City owns many assets and has infrastructure that can be accessed across our community. This includes but is not limited to roadways, land and buildings. If you have a specific request, please email LivingLabs@calgary.ca

Why is there a need for a Living Labs program?

An important step in the development of innovative products, services or ideas is to test them out in an environment as close as possible to where and how they will be used in the end. Because The City owns many assets across our community, we can make Calgary more business friendly and support economic diversification by opening up these assets and helping researchers and entrepreneurs bring their big ideas to life.

I have an existing product, but I want to do some testing to improve it. Can I use Living Labs for that?

Yes, Living Labs can be used to help test new ideas for implementation or existing ideas for improvement or other research. If you have a question about whether Living Labs can help with your testing, please email LivingLabs@calgary.ca.

My company is not from Calgary. Can I still use The City’s Living Labs?

Yes, we offer City assets and infrastructure for companies, researchers and individuals from around the world to test their products and try out their ideas in a real-life environment. Calgary’s specific altitude, geographic location, or urban density, for example, can offer the ideal conditions for innovators to test their ideas out in.

I have a great product I think could benefit The City. Can I use Living Labs to show you?

No. The Living Labs program is not a procurement channel and piloting through the Living Labs does not guarantee future work with The City of Calgary. All future procurement of services is managed through The City of Calgary’s procurement process. See bid and vendor information for more information.

I would like to do a Living Labs using City Infrastructure. What is the first step?

If you are interested in accessing City infrastructure for testing or piloting an idea, please fill out the Living Labs Intake Form and email it back to us at livinglabs@calgary.ca. Once the intake form is received, our team will review the intake form and get back to you to discuss further. 

After the initial intake meeting, the pilot application will be submitted for review and approval to proceed. Successful applicants will then engage the city subject matter experts to define requirements, research needs, establish roles and responsibilities and pilot planning.

How long will it take to test my idea using The City’s Living Labs program?

Each request is unique and timing is dependent on a number of factors. Once the intake form is received, our team will review the intake form and get back to you to discuss further. 

Will doing a pilot through Living Labs guarantee or help me get future work with The City of Calgary?

No. The purpose of the Living Labs program is to facilitate access to city assets for research and testing purposes only. The Living Labs program is not a procurement channel and piloting through the Living Labs does not guarantee future work with The City of Calgary. All future procurement of services is managed through The City of Calgary’s procurement process. See bid and vendor information for more information. 

Can The City of Calgary provide funding for my pilot?

No. The Living Labs program is an unfunded program. Funding is not provided for Living Lab pilots. All business owners and researchers are responsible for their own piloting costs, while The City provides access to City assets for testing purposes. 

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