Austrian Mobility Lab Initiative

Austrian Mobility Labs build on ideas and methods associated with the concepts of “”living labs”” and “”real-world laboratories””. Both living labs and real-world laboratories came into being because in the past, numerous promising solutions – not only in the field of mobility – were developed, but in too many cases disappeared into drawers. Thus, many innovations never met people and their actual needs. Accordingly, Austrian Mobility Labs support research & development to maximize their potential in a real-world setting. How is this done? With science and practice working together at eye level. Sometimes just brainstorming. Sometimes, people with different backgrounds improve innovations together and finally test if their solution can pass the practical test in everyday situations. At its core, they are a platform for people to work together to let a more sustainable, affordable and inclusive transport mobility system become a reality.

Bringing together people from different backgrounds – from technology developers and urban planners to residents of a city – requires serious preparation. It takes time and resources to establish a common ground so people can work on a shared target. The key services of Austrian Mobility Labs are:

They provide a cooperative setting that enables exchange between different actors.
They provide a dedicated research infrastructure to develop the mobility of the future.
They are test environments, in which piloting and optimization can take place under real- world conditions.
They bring innovations in contact with future users and decision-makers.

Lead partner Organisation
Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
Other project partners
AustriaTech, Salzburger Verkehrsverbund, Fachhochschule Oberösterreich - Steyr, Universität Innsbruck, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien, Technical University Vienna, Urban Innovation Vienna
Further info
Initiative Submitted by
Kathrin Raunig
Vienna, Austria
Mobility Expert specialized in the fields of user behaviour, accessibility and living labs
Organisation type
Science, Technology and Innovation Agency
New Mobility in Practice/ Exploring Mobility
Describe the Portfolio and its context

With the Mobility Lab Initiative, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (BMK) has launched a new initiative within the framework of the Mobilität der Zukunft (MdZ) program and initiated the establishment and operation of mobility labs. The exploratory phase, launched in 2014, marked the start and created a comprehensive knowledge pool. In a second phase, from 2017 to 2021, six mobility labs were funded. The tenure of the mobility labs in the second phase ended in 2021. Building on the external impact assessment of the mobility labs conducted in 2020, the third phase of mobility labs was tendered in spring 2021. Four urban mobility labs have been continued and developed since then. Since 2018, the Centre for Mobility Change and since 2022 the have been funded by the BMK. From 2020 on, the "Cooperation and Exchange Platform of Mobility Labs Austria", fosters learning and exchange between the Mobility Labs Austria, realized with the support of AustriaTech. Through this process, synergies between the mobility labs are utilized and competencies on experimental environments in the mobility context are continuously expanded.

Which unsustainable structures & practices (Regime) does the initiative address?

fossil-based, car-focused mobility system, capitalistic economy

What are the sustainable structures & practices (niches) being created by the initiative?

innovation and research of new mobility services in neighbourhoods, cities, towns, multi-modal hubs/stations, port at the Danube river, economically incentivized traffic, tourism

Which sector does the initiative primarily target for change?

transport; mobility

Is the initiative an experiment?

YES: because only new innovations are developed and tested very fast and while considering new circumstances. Also experimentation is supported by the Federal Austrian Ministry

Building and nuturing niches

mobility labs connect people, offer infrastructure, tools and support for testing new technical and social innvoations, hosting idea competitions, prototyping with students, co-create new solutions with different actors etc.

Expanding and mainstreaming niches

successful prototypes or innovations are transferred to other regions within Austria or also to international partners e.g. a mobility lab in Vienna helps international start-ups to work and test their solutions in Austria


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Kathrin Raunig
Mobility Expert specialized in the fields of user behaviour, accessibility and living labs, AustriaTech GmbH