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Citilab is a digital lab for citizen innovation in Cornellà de Llobregat, Catalonia. It mixes citizen based innovation with research, entrepreneurship and training. Its rationale is to offer a resource platform for citizens so that they can start their own projects around technology and the internet, specially the collaborative and audiovisual internet.
The origin of Citilab stems from the combined confluence of work on design cultures, innovation, collaborative and advanced internet and community network activism. The original project was backed by the City Hall in Cornella, a town close to Barcelona, Spain. It is located in a former textile factory. After four years of intensive restoration in November 2007 the former factory of Can Suris Cornellà de Llobregat became the headquarters of Citilab. Cornellà Citilab was born to become a space for learning, innovation, technology, but also a meeting point between the physical and the virtual world, where citizens exchange ideas and experiences and improvem their innovation skills by related technology to their current needs and projects. They learn and appropriate technology because they have a motivation connected to their needs not just for technology's sake.
General description 
Citilab is related to the model of Living Lab, a mixed public / private partnership where citizens, businesses, government agencies and research centers are involved in the innovation process in a complex evolutive way. Unlike facilities for conventional research, the Living Labs aim to create and validate technologies, products, services and business models in real settings for and everyday contexts. The uniqueness of Citilab is that it incorporates the experience of years of civic networks in Catalonia. Actually it tries to go beyond Citilab model integrating the concept of social innovation in full, i.e., the result of its operation can be not only a product or a service but a social initiative.
Citilab organization tries to embody the "permanent beta" concept of innovation organizations if, in this case, beyond the typical company setting and exanding to a wider set of stakeholders and participants.. It is an ongoing project organized around the proposal, refinement and evolution of projects. Each project gathers a group of citizens and, probably, Citilab staff, companies (start ups or other), research groups and experts. In the process, it is envisaged that everyone learns and contributes. Each project, ideally, should involve several dimensions: learning, research, communication of the learning, documentation of the knowledge, etc. Citilab tries to general social networks of innovating citizens.
The general philosophy of Citilab's operation aims at creating an ongoing complex innovation system. The creation of teams around projects is promoted as well as communities. That is, each project combines research, development, innovation and learning and involves many different actors and in different proportions according to their goal: schools, pupils, citilabers, university groups, corporations, independent experts, and so on.