Oxford Brookes and BioRegional launch Eco-Bicester Living Lab

Monday, 14 July 2014

Rajat Bicester Image New

Oxford Brookes and BioRegional announced the launch of a new research and innovation initiative this month with an event organised in the John Paul-II Centre in Bicester.

The Eco-Bicester Living Lab (EBLL), which is a joint collaboration between Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) at Oxford Brookes and BioRegional Development Group, has been developed to capture the learning and innovation that is happening in Bicester.

It will also share the lessons learned locally, and with the wider communities in UK and beyond.

Cherwell District Council and A2Dominion are key stakeholders, with many others involved in specific projects.

The Living Lab has grown out of the significant housing growth and the research and innovation that has been happening in Bicester, partly due to its status as one of four “eco towns” in the UK.

The project will see 393 high performance homes being constructed on site now, with plans for a further 6,400 new homes by 2026.

Prior to the project launch there has been the delivery of an impressive portfolio of demonstration projects across Bicester.

These projects include innovative retrofit technologies, new business models for the roll out of renewables, future proofing the eco-town for a changing climate and carbon mapping homes in a Bicester neighbourhood using the DECoRuM approach to identify opportunities for reducing energy use and fuel costs.

The EBLL initiative combines such innovation, research and development projects into one virtual home. 

The Living Lab will not only provide Bicester with evidence-based learning and innovation, but also contribute to transforming Bicester into a sustainable and exceptional place to live and work.

The aims of the Living Lab are to:

  • Bring world-leading academic research and innovation to Bicester to enable the creation of a truly sustainable town for the 21st century.
  • Build a framework of learning and improvement for the various sustainability initiatives and programmes in the town.
  • Capture rigorously the learning from the various initiatives and spread it across the UK and around the world.
  • Provide a focus for advances in solutions to sustainability, as applied, tested and evaluated in Eco-Bicester.
  • Promote Bicester as a centre for research and innovation.

Speaking at the launch, Professor Rajat Gupta, Director of OISD and Co-Director of the Eco-Bicester Living Lab said: “Eco-Bicester Living Lab is a unique cross-sector and cross-disciplinary initiative in which novel ideas related to sustainability will be tested in the urban realm with the explicit goal of learning for continuous feedback and improvement. 

“The rigorous academic evaluation will underpin knowledge-sharing with industry, policy-making and voluntary sectors across the UK and around the world.”  

Further details on the Living Lab and other projects can be found at http://bicesterlivinglab.org/