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The LINEAR project (Local Intelligent Networks and Energy Active Regions) focuses on the introduction and implementation of innovative smart-grid technologies in the Flanders region, and aims at a breakthrough in the further development and deployment of these solutions. It consists of a research component and a large-scale residential pilot, both focusing on active demand-side management of domestic loads. This paper describes the unique approach, the main objectives and the current status of this project. Selected business cases and target applications are discussed in detail.