Social Lab: Toward Value-Driven R&D&I in Collaboration with Citizens


  • Kentaro Watanabe
  • Fumiya Akasaka
  • Yuya Mitake
  • Kazuhiro Kojima



social lab, citizen participation, R&D&I, responsible research and innovation


Digitalization is an important driver of valuable service offerings in most industrial sectors. With the increasing use of digital technologies, the negative consequences of digitalization have also attracted attention. To address this issue, R&D organizations need to ensure that their R&D&I process and its results are in alignment with desirable services that create value and mitigate citizens’ social concerns. This requires a close partnership with citizens. However, attempts to take the values of citizens as a driver of technology R&D&I remain limited and tend to be temporary. Therefore, we introduce the concept of the “social lab” as an R&D&I scheme emphasizing service and value as core elements to foster the R&D&I of digital technology in a socially acceptable manner. We introduce our development of a social lab and discuss the required processes and challenges, especially for developing citizen partnership.