Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye

SkyeLab Living Lab was founded in 2021 by local volunteers in response to the ‘Centre of Excellence’ and ‘Digital Innovation’ recommendations of the Sir Lewis Ritchie report. SkyeLab is based in Portree, Isle of Skye.

Our Vision is:

‘a healthy, active, productive, independent, and socially connected community, across the generations’.

Our Mission for SkyeLab in 2021/22 is:

‘Within 24m of launch, to be incorporated as a CIC that provides community benefit to the people of Skye, Raasay, Lochalsh & South West Ross (SRLSWR) by delivering health and care improvements through training, demonstrating, researching, co-designing, evaluating and applying people-centred innovations with a specialism in digital innovation’. 

The local community we aim to benefit is the people of Skye, Raasay, Lochalsh & South West Ross (SRLSWR), but we aim to be an exemplar of open innovation and collaborate with wider communities to learn from others and adopt and share successful innovations.

SkyeLab CIC aims to deliver community-based training and demonstration of the innovative person-centred health and self-care services of the future.

SkyeLab CIC’s ‘Living Lab’ will specialise in co-design, co-production, pilot and test of digital and technology-enabled health and care services of the future, validating their effectiveness to meet the needs of remote, rural and island communities such as our own.

Our Business Plan, in summary, is to become established as a CIC (Community Interest Company) by May 2021 (done) and grow in the following four phases, depending on the level of funding obtained;

  1. Training Facility: Immediately from launch, to provide a training space for use by local health and care statutory and voluntary organisations to train their staff and volunteers. This will include a storage facility for training materials eg resusc manikin. (Status: Successful pilot training sessions were facilitated for Scottish Ambulance Service staff during March & June ’21).
  2. Demonstrator Facility: Within 3-6m of launch, to provide a Demonstrator Service (ie a ‘Shop Window’) for carers to demonstrate readily available ‘consumer grade’ Technology Enabled Care (TEC) devices and digital services, eg Amazon Alexa and similar aids to independent living. This includes an NHS ‘Near Me’ access point. (Status: Market research discussions & needs analysis have been undertaken with local partners as part of SkyeLab business planning – these include L&S Housing Association, Handy Person, SAS, NHS Highland, Portree Medical Group Practice).
  3. Living Lab: Within 9-12m of launch, to set up a Living Lab that will act as a partner with existing projects to evaluate and develop innovative digital services and devices with a focus on their application in rural and remote island locations (Status: Partner role research programme and delivery model at exploratory stage).
  4. Outreach Programme: If funding successful, during years 2-4, to employ a team of paid professionals staff to deliver an Outreach Programme to proactively deliver a mobile SkyeLab Outreach programme to every local community in the Skye, Raasay, Lochalsh & South West Ross (SRLSWR) region.

Who Are We:?

Founding Directors:

Prof. Ronald Macdonald (Portree), Iain McIvor (Lochalsh and Skye Housing Association), Campbell Grant (Sitekit Ltd), Anne Gillies (Raasay).

Membership of the CIC (when established) will be open to any resident of Skye, Raasay, Lochalsh & South West Ross (SRLSWR).

Disambiguation: Skyelab Research Network is a different organisation, not related to SkyeLab CIC.

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