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About this book

This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 21st IFIP WG 5.5 Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises, PRO-VE 2020, held in Valencia, Spain, in November 2020. The conference was held virtually.

The 53 full papers were carefully reviewed and selected from 135 submissions. They provide a comprehensive overview of major challenges and recent advances in various domains related to the digital transformation and collaborative networks and their applications with a strong focus on the following areas related to the main theme of the conference: collaborative business ecosystems; collaborative business models; collaboration platform; data and knowledge services; blockchain and knowledge graphs; maintenance, compliance and liability; digital transformation; skills for organizations of the future; collaboration in open innovation; collaboration in supply chain; simulation and analysis in collaborative systems; product and service systems; collaboration impacts; boosting sustainability through collaboration in Agri-food 4.0; digital innovation hubs for digitalizing European industry; and collaborative networks for health and wellness data management.

Table of Contents


Collaborative Business Ecosystems


Evaluating and Influencing the Performance of a Collaborative Business Ecosystem – A Simulation Study

In a Collaborative Business Ecosystem, organisations collaborate to acquire and accomplish more innovative and challenging market opportunities. But the sustainability of collaboration requires continuous performance improvement. To this end, well-defined performance indicators can be used to both assess the collaboration level and act as an influence mechanism to induce an improvement in the collaborative behaviour of the participating organisations. By varying the importance (weight) of the adopted set of indicators, it is possible to study the variations in behaviour towards improvement, not only at organisations’ level but also at the level of the ecosystem as a whole. In order to assess this hypothesis, this paper contains a case study based on simulation and agent-based modelling whose behaviour is shaped according to actual data on collaboration collected from three companies in the area of the IT industry. Various scenarios are simulated and described.

Paula Graça, Luís M. Camarinha-Matos

Exploring the Barriers and Mitigation Strategies in Digital Business Ecosystem Development: A Case Study from Engineering Material Supply Service Provider

At present, more and more companies are aware of and have the incentive to promote the construction and development of collaborative platforms, to improve collaboration to cope with many uncertainties such as market turmoil and increased competition. At the same time, with the emergence of emerging digital technologies, the concept of a digital business ecosystem is becoming more and more prominent. DBE development is a long-term evolutionary process, and there are many barriers in the practice. The current research on DBE is mainly conceptual and theoretical, and the barriers in the development process of DBE in the practice are still lack of exploration. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to summarize and analyze the key barriers in the practice of the enterprise through empirical investigation. According to the case companies’ mitigation measures and related literature research, we proposed some relevant suggestions and research ideas to solve the barriers.

Qingyu Liang, Juanqiong Gou, Wenqiang Li, Long Huang

Developing Digital Business Ecosystems to Create Collaborative Value in Supply-Chain Finance

Although many enterprises have been launching the supply-chain finance (SCF) to help firms solve financing problems and increase collaborative performance, the formation process remains limited. The “digital business ecosystem (DBE)” is a sound guiding theory that we adopt to study the process of SCF networks formation, while SCF offers a suitable phenomenon to research how to integrate the business ecosystems and digital platforms to shape DBE and its logic of value. Guided by this lens, we conduct an in-depth case study of a super-large infrastructure enterprise in China. This study reveals a process model which consists of focal IT/IS enablers, dominant types of ecosystems, and forms of ecosystems. Our findings contribute to existing body of literature, in the field of SCF and DBEs. Core firms of ecosystems can use the model to design and develop DBEs to co-create value in SCF with rational deliberation and planning.

Xufan Zhao, Juanqiong Gou, Wenchi Ying

Collaborative Business Models


Deriving Collaborative Business Model Design Requirements from a Digital Platform Business Strategy

The widespread deployment of digital technologies has resulted in a hyperconnected context for business organizations. Currently many ventures, both start-ups and incumbents, consider engaging in a Digital Platform Business Strategy to create and capture value in collaborative ecosystems. This type of strategy strongly differs from a conventional Business Strategy in speed, scale, scope and interaction with the ecosystem. Business Models are used to realize a strategy, but little guidance and support exists for the specification of business models realizing a Digital Business Platform Business Strategy. This affects an organization’s responsiveness to digital opportunities. To address this gap, this paper proposes a novel method to support the derivation of Business Model Design Requirements from a Digital Platform Business Strategic Objective. The method uses a Catalogue of Strategy Elements as a starting point to generate Subobjectives and Business Model Design Requirement Specification Cards as a structuring tool to facilitate the transformation of these Subobjectives into Business Model Design Requirements. The method is demonstrated using a historical platform case study. We show that our approach generates Business Model Design Requirements in a structured way and in line with Business Strategy. As a positive by-product the method creates options for business model evolution.

Frank Berkers, Oktay Turetken, Baris Ozkan, Anna Wilbik, Onat Ege Adali, Rick Gilsing, Paul Grefen

A Method to Guide the Concretization of Costs and Benefits in Service-Dominant Business Models

Contemporary organizations increasingly transition to a service-orientation to better cater to the needs of customers. To offer the resulting complex service solutions, organizations collaborate in business networks to exchange services, which are typically conceptualized by means of service-dominant business models. As business models influence organizational performance, novel service-dominant business models should be evaluated with respect to how value in terms of costs and benefits is captured per actor. However, limited support is present in literature to guide the concretization of costs and benefits in networked, service-dominant settings to assess the viability of the model. In response, we propose a method to guide the concretization of costs and benefits in service-dominant business models. Building upon existing work in terms of networked value capture, we introduce design parameters to concretize costs and benefits and consequently guide the concretization of these parameters by means of a structured process.

Rick Gilsing, Oktay Turetken, Baris Ozkan, Frans Slaats, Onat Ege Adali, Anna Wilbik, Frank Berkers, Paul Grefen

Green Virtual Enterprise Breeding Environment: A Proposal of Web Platform Model for a Circular Economy

This paper aims to present a proposal for a Green Virtual Breeding Environment (GVBE) grounded in Circular Economy to create Green Virtual Enterprises (GVE) for the deployment of green solutions for products and services. Through the life cycle of the products, in which, a product, for one organization is discarded and for another, input for new products. New solutions will be developed jointly by the GVBE component actors. Entitled as Reciclica GVBE it contributes to the management of residues focused on sustainability in an economically viable way. It will also contribute, with the population, organizations, and researchers to have a clearer view of the processes that involve waste management, which will allow for better citizen participation, greater responsibility on the part of companies, and new research on the subject.

Fernando Zatt Schardosin, Carlos R. De Rolt, Amanda M. L. Batista, Clerilei A. Bier, Amanda A. Lentez

Collaboration Platforms


For a Dynamic Web Services Discovery Model for Open Ecosystems of Software Providers

With the increasing adoption of business models relaying on Cloud Computing, digital platforms and servitization, IT providers have been trans-forming their solutions into services-based, having as a goal facilitating their binding to clients’ applications. In this formed wide and open service-oriented environment, classical static services binding approaches are limited to support the business dynamics of Virtual Organizations (VO). As services would assure VO members’ systems operation, a bad services selection may hazard that. We argue, though, that services selection criteria, largely based on QoS and costs, are not enough to provide higher confidence to VO members when selecting services from such open ecosystem of service providers. In this line, this paper proposes a more comprehensive and multi-criteria decision-making model for dynamic services discovery. A prototype has been implemented and results are discussed.

Ricardo J. Rabelo, Hernesto A. Ruiz, Maiara H. Cancian

Adoption of Digital Collaborative Networking Platforms in Companies: A Study of Twitter Usage in Finland

Digital collaborative networking platforms have become increasingly important for companies. They are widely used for communication and co-creation with customers, suppliers and other actors in companies’ value chains. This study takes one social media platform, Twitter, as an example of a digital collaboration platform and analyses patterns of Twitter usage among Finnish companies. The empirical part of the study is based on survey data (n = 554 companies) and Twitter usage data of 107 of the same companies. The research data is analyzed to explore the extent to which companies have adopted Twitter and for what purposes it is being used. The results of the study show that surprisingly few companies have a Twitter account and most commonly companies use Twitter to communicate about news and events to the large public. Hence, plenty of opportunities remain for taking social media platforms more efficiently in use for collaborative networking and co-creation.

Heli Hallikainen, Lili Aunimo

From Digital Platforms to Ecosystems: A Review of Horizon 2020 Platform Projects

Digital platforms have, in the past decades, undergone a revolution, evolving from its technical roots so much that nowadays value is mostly generated, not by the technologies that power platforms, but by the ecosystem of applications, developers and users it is able to generate and support. In this paper, we seek to understand the importance industrial platform owners place on the community building and platform growth components of the platform development process by reviewing 50 Horizon 2020 financed projects that stand on the development of platforms. This evidence is leveraged for the case of a validation strategy definition for a platform ecosystem aiming at sharing production capacity. Key findings point to platform developing practices focused on the development of technical components to the detriment of the ecosystem generation element. We also shed light on how different business models and funding schemes impacted the steering of these platforms.

Henrique Diogo Silva, António Lucas Soares

Data and Knowledge Services


Towards a Reference Model for Knowledge Driven Data Provision Processes

Value creation in most business areas takes place in networks that involve a wide range of stakeholders from various disciplines within and beyond company borders. Collaboration in such networks require the exchange of knowledge that is manifested in digital artefacts and consequently in data. As the utilization of that “hidden” knowledge has become increasingly important, the provision of relevant data in sufficient quality has also become crucial. This article proposes a reference model for knowledge driven data provision processes that is developed within a research project at the Virtual Vehicle Research GmbH for a future networked engineering environment. It describes a systematic process to drive operationalization of data provision from knowledge requirements to identify, extract and provide raw data until the application of such data sets. Still, the model in its current state is only applicable by descriptive means and needs further development and validation in practical use cases.

Wei Min Wang, Maurice Preidel, Bernd Fachbach, Rainer Stark

A Semantic Data Model to Represent Building Material Data in AEC Collaborative Workflows

The specification of building material is required in multiple phases of engineering and construction projects towards holistic BIM implementations. Building material information plays a vital role in design decisions by enabling different simulation processes, such as energy, acoustic, lighting, etc. Utilization and sharing of building material information between stakeholders are some of the major influencing factors on the practical implementation of the BIM process. Different meta-data schemas (e.g. IFC) are usually available to represent and share material information amongst partners involved in a construction project. However, these schemas have their own constraints to enable efficient data sharing amongst stakeholders. This paper explains these constraints and proposes a methodological approach for the representation of material data using semantic web concepts aiming to support the sharing of BIM data and interoperability enhancements in collaboration workflows. As a result, the DICBM ( ) ontology was developed which improves the management of building material information in the BIM-based collaboration process.

Prathap Valluru, Janakiram Karlapudi, Karsten Menzel, Teemu Mätäsniemi, Jari Shemeika

Towards a Framework for Federated Interoperability to Implement an Automated Model Transformation

In order to adapt to changes in industrial world (customers and markets) and to competition, to create economic or strategic partnerships with external players or simply to integrate a connector to exchange information between the various services and software of a company, it is essential to have the necessary software tools (by development or deployment) that guarantee effective communication between the various parties, which are often heterogeneous and not known in advance, and overcome certain difficulties such as the multiplicity of information sources and the quality of the data.In such a context, the exchange or migration of data is a critical step. In order to facilitate the exchange, our approach aims at implementing federated interoperability with automated model transformation, supported by an interoperability evaluation, in order to ensure data retention despite the unforeseen uses (for example, some fields divert or mislabel) and to ensure their consistency during the transformation.

Mustapha Labreche, Aurélie Montarnal, Sébastien Truptil, Xavier Lorca, Sébastien Weill, Jean-Pièrre Adi

Blockchain and Knowledge Graphs


Design Principles for Blockchain-Enabled Point Exchange Systems: An Action Design Research on a Polycentric Collaborative Network for Loyalty Programs

In order to improve the customer experiences and explore value of loyalty programs, the operators are extending the scope of point redemption through creating a strategic polycentric collaborative network (CN) across multiple LPs. The point exchange is considered as a selectable approach. Because of the complexity, multicurrency and security risk of the CN, the existing process for exchanging points is cumbersome. However, the challenge of corresponding information system (IS) design received few attentions, which is critical for the success of the CN. We fill the gap by introducing blockchain technology and conducting an action design research (ADR). We partnered with a consulting corporate to design blockchain-enabled point exchange systems for the polycentric CN of loyalty programs. Our ADR study is in progress and the preliminary findings of new design principles may contribute to design theory in the blockchain and IS literature, and enrich both research and practice on LP.

Jiaman Chen, Wenchi Ying, Yonggui Chen, Zupeng Wang

Bitcoin Adoption as a New Technology for Payment Mechanism in a Tourism Collaborative Network

Bitcoin is designed to operate as a fine mechanism of Collaborative Network (CN). The Tourism Industry is a particular sector in which this emerging technology, as a new mechanism of payment based on peer to peer and autonomous characteristics, could have a significant impact on growth and helps to reach untapped regions. Given its revolutionary nature, Bitcoin is not yet penetrated in this industry, while the main issue is the number of players who are connected from service providers to tourists, agencies, and suppliers. These heterogeneous players need to use Bitcoin simultaneously when compatibility is the major problem. This means that the Technology Adoption/Acceptance are affected by the behavior of the Tourism Collaborative Network (TCN). The aim of this work is to develop a Technology Acceptance/Adaptation model to evaluate the situation of Bitcoin in TCN and identify factors affecting Bitcoin acceptance/adoption in the context of CN as well.

Mehdi Daryaei, Javad Jassbi, Reza Radfar, Abbas Khamseh

How to Effectively Make and Use Knowledge Graphs Through Collaborative Activities: A Socio-Technical Perspective

Knowledge graphs (KG) as emerging technology contribute to knowledge networking and efficient knowledge collaboration. Sound knowledge about why organizations should develop KGs and how they can make and use KG is the key to success. However, the organized work on the Make and Use of KG can be perceived as another kind of highly collaborative activities between organizations, people, machines and systems, which received few attentions in research. Thus, we adopt socio-technical systems (STS) perspective to review, practice and study how to effectively make and use KGs through collaborative activities. This study reveals a collaborative-activity framework of KG’s Make and Use and corresponding collaborative mechanisms, which may contribute to the existing literature of KG/AI, knowledge collaborative networks and STS. Organizations can use this framework to develop their own domain-specific KG and KG-based information.

Yanan Gao, Xiyan Lv, Wenchi Ying

Maintenance, Compliance and Liability


Liability in Collaborative Maintenance of Critical System of Systems

Our society is facing a growing dependency on services supported by multiple interconnected computing and cyberphysical artifacts, constituting complex systems-of-systems. Such dependence means that a web of technology suppliers and IT departments have the responsibility to guarantee the operational quality of such systems. In this scenario where dependable services are maintained and evolved by networks of organizations, the question is how to ensure a liability framework able to reduce or help to solve potential legal conflicts. This work on liability in Collaborative Maintenance of Critical System of Systems grounds on previous research on the open Informatics system of systems (ISoS) framework. It extends the ECoNet collaborative network infrastructure with facets to support liability and maintenance. We propose and discuss a strategy for the management of evidence towards a conflictless collaborative context for the maintenance of critical systems-of-systems.

A. Luis Osório, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos, Hamideh Afsarmanesh, Adam Belloum

Applying Predictive Maintenance in Flexible Manufacturing

In Industry 4.0 context, manufacturing related processes e.g. design processes, maintenance processes are collaboratively processed across different factories and enterprises. The state i.e. operation, failures of production equipment tools could easily impact on the collaboration and related processes. This complex collaboration requires a flexible and extensible system architecture and platform, to support dynamic collaborations with advanced capabilities such as big data analytics for maintenance. As such, this paper looks at how to support data-driven and flexible predictive maintenance in collaboration using FIWARE? Especially, applying big data analytics and data-driven approach for effective maintenance schedule plan, employing FIWARE Framework, which leads to support collaboration among different organizations modularizing of different related functions and security requirements.

Go Muan Sang, Lai Xu, Paul de Vrieze, Yuewei Bai

Verification and Compliance in Collaborative Processes

Evidently, COVID-19 has changed our lives and is likely to make a lasting impact on our economic development and our industry and services. With the ongoing process of digital transformation in industry and services, Collaborative Networks (CNs) is required to be more efficient, productive, flexible, resilient and sustainable according to change of situations and related rules applied afterwards. Although the CN area is relatively young, it requires the previous research to be extended, i.e. business process management from dealing with processes within a single organization into processes across different organizations. In this paper, we review current business process verification and compliance research. Different tools approaches and limitations of them are compared. The further research issues and potential solutions of business process verification and compliance check are discussed in the context of CNs.

Oyepeju Oyekola, Lai Xu

Digital Transformation


Strategic Target System to Select Digitalization Measures in Manufacturing Companies

Manufacturing companies face the challenge of selecting digitalization measures that fit their strategy. Measures that are initiated and not aligned with the company’s strategy carry the risk of failing due to lack of relevance. This leads to an ineffective use of scarce human and financial resources. This paper presents a target system to help companies select relevant digitalization measures compliant with their strategy for IT-OT-integration projects. The target system was developed based on literature research and expert interviews, and later validated in two use cases. The target system considers the goals of production companies and combines them with digitalization measures. The measures are classified by different maturity levels required for their realization. Thus, the target system enables manufacturing companies to evaluate digitalization measures with regards to their strategic relevance and the required Industrie 4.0 maturity level for their realization. This ensures an effective use of resources.

Günther Schuh, Jan Hicking, Felix Jordan, Max-Ferdinand Stroh, Stephan-Andrés Saß

Fostering Digital Growth in SMEs: Organizational Competence for Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has become a necessity for SMEs if they want to compete in an increasingly globalized market. The proposed maturity models are not really useful for moving forward, as they have been developed for large companies and are not adapted to the particularities of SMEs. We propose an alternative approach based on individual and organizational skills and capabilities. SMEs have digital transformation capabilities that could become a digital transformation competence. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

José M. González-Varona, Fernando Acebes, David Poza, Adolfo López-Paredes

Digital Transformation of Virtual Enterprises for Providing Collaborative Services in Smart Cities

Municipalities are digitally transforming urban environment into smarter cities aimed at addressing urban growth and social challenges. This transition of urban space influenced by Information and Communications Technology (ICT) enables novel business models and Virtual Enterprises (VE) processes. Presently, there is need to provide insights into the state-of-the-art of VE and development of digital transformation in order to improve services provided to citizens and stakeholders in smart cities. Therefore, the aim of this study is to employ ArchiMate as the modelling language to demonstrate the digitalization of VE to depict how VE collaborates in smart cities. Evidence from a focus group discussion was modelled in ArchiMate to present findings on how VE can be digitalized to provide collaborative services. Implications from this study provide insights to guide VE to understand the imperative need of digital changes in smart cities.

Bokolo Anthony, Sobah Abbas Petersen, Markus Helfert

Skills for Organizations of the Future


Towards Agile Operation for Small Teams in Knowledge Intensive Organizations: A Collaboration Framework

Knowledge Intensive Organizations (KIOs) are of growing importance worldwide. But comparing to other kinds of enterprises, they are challenged by more uncertainty and complex situations. In the context of a KIO, various small teams can be dynamically organized to collaboratively pursue knowledge creation initiatives. As these small teams, which bred from KIOs, often involve activities that cannot be fully predetermined, they need to be supported by related resources and services in a more agile way during their operation and evolution stages. This paper presents a new three-layer collaboration framework for agile operation of small teams on the basis of existing models from the paradigm of Collaborative Networks, with a set of roles and mechanisms proposed in each layer. Considering the framework, related digital platforms and artificial intelligence applications can be developed, giving effective support to small teams’ knowledge creation processes. A case study has been developed for a research group to illustrate the proposed framework.

Qinghua Liu, Juanqiong Gou, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos

OMiLAB: A Smart Innovation Environment for Digital Engineers

This position paper introduces a Smart Innovation Environment for experimentation related to digital transformation projects, for the consolidation of a proposed “Digital Engineer” skill profile (with a business-oriented facet labelled as “Digital Innovator”). In the Internet of Things era, this profile implies the ability to perform both digital design and engineering activities, to semantically bridge multiple layers of abstraction and specificity – from business analysis down to cyber-physical engineering. In the paper’s proposal, this integration is enabled by conceptual modelling methods and interoperable modelling tools, tailored to support the creation of Digital Twins for innovative digital business models. The architecture of the proposed environment is guided by a Design Research perspective – i.e., it is a treatment to an education “design problem” regarding the Digital Engineer skill profile in the IoT era. The proposed environment encompasses workspaces and toolkits are currently evaluated in “innovation corners” deployed across the OMiLAB ecosystem.

Dimitris Karagiannis, Robert Andrei Buchmann, Xavier Boucher, Sergio Cavalieri, Adrian Florea, Dimitris Kiritsis, Moonkun Lee

Improving the Training Methods for Designers of Flexible Production Cells in Factories of the Future

This work proposes a design method for flexible manufacturing systems (FMS). The method reduces the learning curve by helping employees to solve problems related to the design and optimization of the layout, operation and control of FMS, avoiding the drawbacks of current tools. The approach uses Domain Specific Modeling Languages (DSML) for specification of FMS. The paper presents the definition of the DSML and the implementation of the graphical modeling and simulation tool bringing important contributions to development of the domain through the use of constructions from categories theory for DSML specifications. This mathematical basis allows the definition of constraints to avoid supplementary costs and eventual damages through incorrect or incomplete specification of the solutions. By interconnecting with ADOxx of the DSML and tool developed, facilitates access to other analysis and simulation tools like Bee-up, Petri net, better exploration of the design space and extended support for the design activity.

Ion Mironescu, Daniel-Cristian Crăciunean, Adrian Florea, Ioan Bondrea

Immersive Systems in Human-Centered Manufacturing: The Informational Dimension

The rise of smart manufacturing environments, characterized by high quantity of data/information available, contributes to a growing interest and research towards the use of immersive technologies not only in factories but also across entire value chains. New immersive technologies and devices are being developed to improve cooperation within Collaborative Networks (CNs), especially in the human-machine hybrid networks context. The application of these technologies in such complex environments expands substantially the modes how information is delivered and used, which may exacerbate one of the oldest problems of cognitive ergonomics: information overload. Therefore, this work presents applications of immersive technologies in manufacturing into the perspective of “information work” and “immersive human-centered manufacturing systems”. A framework is proposed to be developed in a FabLab to understand the worker needs and interactions. This FabLab aims to demonstrate the potential/real application of immersive technologies, towards the enhancement of the human worker cognitive capabilities.

Filipa Rente Ramalho, António Lucas Soares, António Henrique Almeida

Collaboration in Open Innovation


Collaborative Networking to Enable Innovation and Entrepreneurship Through Open Innovation Hubs: The Entrepreneurship Learning Centre of Mexico City

Collaborative Networks have shown to have a high potential as drivers of value creation; therefore, it is increasingly frequent to observe how organisations and governments are implementing collaborative networking to support their innovation processes and foster entrepreneurship in benefit to society. Consequently, it is observed that these implementations can contribute to accelerating the development of weaker local and regional economies, especially in developing countries. In this paper, it is presented the Open Innovation Hub of México City of the ECOS Network and how by applying collaborative networking, it is possible to foster both innovation and entrepreneurship. Also, the Learning Centre for Entrepreneurship in Mexico City as part of this Hub is described. Finally, a case study with an imparted teaching-learning program is presented. And so, there are described how by using the concepts of Open Innovation and Education 4.0 are designed and implemented specific teaching-learning programs to encourage the creation of new enterprises.

Jhonattan Miranda, José Bernardo Rosas-Fernández, Arturo Molina

A Model to Support OI Collaborative Risks Applying Social Network Analysis

Across the literature, is often claimed that the shortage of models to support projects in the collaborative dimension, creates distrust and pushes way organizations from those collaborative initiatives, such as the open innovation (OI). In the present work, a model based on three different scientific fields (Risk Management, Open Innovation, and Social Network Analysis), is introduces, aiming to support the management of OI projects. The model identifies project critical success factors (CSFs) by analysing three distinct collaborative dimensions (3-CD) that usually take place in OI projects - (1) Participation Degree, (2) Communication Degree, and (3) Response Agility Degree – of accomplished projects. Such CSFs can then be used to guide and estimate an outcome likelihood of upcoming or ongoing OI projects.

Marco Nunes, António Abreu

A Framework Based on Fuzzy Logic to Manage Risk in an Open Innovation Context

Virtual enterprises (VE), is well-known to make use of open innovation to achieve competitiveness, through innovation on product development. However, its limited resources, combined with the innovation resulted from the diversity of partners involved, rises some challenges to its management, specifically regarded with risk management. To fulfill these requirements, risk management’s models, have been conceived to assist managers, on preventing threats with such risks, although without adequately incorporate the influence of each process domain on product development, as well as the subjectivity regarding human perception. In order to consider these issues, this work presents an approach, supported by fuzzy logic, to assess the risk’s level on product development in an open innovation context. The model robustness, will be assessed through a case study, where it will be also discussed the benefits and challenges found.

Ricardo Santos, Antonio Abreu, J. M. F. Calado, José Miguel Soares, José Duarte Moleiro Martins

Collaboration in Supply Chain


Reshaping Supply Chain Collaboration - The Role of Digital Leadership in a Networked Organization

The article presents a case study of Bossard AG, which is an internationally active Swiss fastener technology and logistics company. The example of Bossard AG shows how, by seeking competitive advantage within existing manufacturing supply chains, the traditional meaning of relationships between supply chain participants is changing. In this new model, by simultaneously building a Collaborative Networked Organization and searching for digital competences in the supply chain, there appears a second leader, who is limited to the part of the supply chain for which they are responsible. This results in reshaping the entire supply chain collaboration.

Marzena Frankowska, Andrzej Rzeczycki

Artificial Intelligence in Supply Chain Operations Planning: Collaboration and Digital Perspectives

Digital transformation provide supply chains (SCs) with extensive accurate data that should be combined with analytical techniques to improve their management. Among these techniques Artificial Intelligence (AI) has proved their suitability, memory and ability to manage uncertain and constantly changing information. Despite the fact that a number of AI literature reviews exist, no comprehensive review of reviews for the SC operations planning has yet been conducted. This paper aims to provide a comprehensive review of AI literature reviews in a structured manner to gain insights into their evolution in incorporating new ICTs and collaboration. Results show that hybridization man-machine and collaboration and ethical aspects are understudied.

María Ángeles Rodríguez, M. M. E. Alemany, Andrés Boza, Llanos Cuenca, Ángel Ortiz

Toward Physical Internet-Enabled Supply Chain and Logistics Networks in Developing Countries

Developing countries have numerous challenges to manage in terms of supply chain and logistics networks such as safety, corruption, pollution, congestion, old and/or unsuitable vehicles, long lead times, economy, wastes and of course poor infrastructures and so on. While developed countries have started to change their mindset and toolboxes for managing their material flows all along their logistics networks, it is not yet the case for developing countries. This research work intends to study potentials benefit for these countries if there are drastic changes of the way physical of material flows are managed. In such a context, Physical Internet paradigm is considered as an interesting avenue for improvement. The objective of this paper is to draft an options that would be necessary to assess and to design the associated research methodology. Insights regarding an ongoing field-oriented research work in Cambodia are developed to highlight the potential.

Sam Ban, Matthieu Lauras, Sarot Srang

Simulation and Analysis in Collaborative Systems


A Collaborative Approach to Demand Side Energy Management

Integrating the idea of collaborations into the energy domain appears a promising feat, although, relatively contemporary and uncommon. In this study, we implement a Demand Side Management strategy using the concept of Collaborative Virtual Power Plant Ecosystem as a digital representation of an Energy Community. The community uses a sharing platform to share experience, technical and professional knowledge, facilitating members ambition to change their energy use behaviours. Members of the community are represented as software agents. Behaviours in the adopted model are arranged in a framework of tasks and goals for agents to accomplish. Agents join the ecosystem under deterministic and stochastic conditions. A multi-method modelling approach is used. This study revealed that through collaboration, agents are able to accomplish set tasks faster, thus reducing their chances of frustration and subsequent exit from the ecosystem. This approach helps to influence member´s behaviour and increases membership fluidity, facilitating community stability and sustainability.

Kankam O. Adu-Kankam, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos

Analysis of Productivity and Profitability of a SME Through Collaborative Networks Using Discrete Event Simulation Tool: An Automotive Case Study

Most companies seek sustainability and competitive advantage for optimal problem solving and value creation. Medium-sized companies that account for more than 90% of the world’s total companies with a low research & development, tend to search for alternatives within the private and educational sector that allow them to increase their productivity without having to compromise their competitive activity in their sector. Collaboration with external actors represents an opportunity for organizations as it broadens their development of the productive system and their organizational behaviour. This interaction is known as Open Innovation. This concept has dismantled the traditional organizational archetype enabling universities to link the academy’s work into the industrial sector. One-part of the academy, in collaboration with them, is the use of emerging technologies and digital tools that lead into a decision-making efficient process incorporating industry 4.0. A useful technology for this purpose is Discrete Event Simulation, a tool for system analysis, characterized by modifying variables without compromising the current productivity of the company. This document explains through a case study, the use of simulation in an enterprise of the automotive sector through the tool, in the lamination process of production line. The contribution of this paper is generating alternatives for the decision-making process in a real scenario, using the tool to achieve results in collaboration within the industry sector. The analysis shows the improvement, analyzing the productivity and choices, that increase in the profitability of the enterprise.

Emigdio Martínez, Daniel Cortés, José Ramírez, María Guadalupe Obregón, Arturo Molina

A Physics-Based Approach for Managing Supply Chain Risks and Opportunities Within Its Performance Framework

Managing a Collaborative Network (such as a supply chain) requires setting and pursuing objectives. These can be represented and evaluated by formal Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Managing a supply chain aims to stretch its KPIs towards target values. Therefore, any Collaborative Network’s goal is to monitor its trajectory within the framework of its KPIs. Currently potentiality (risk or opportunity) management is based on the capacity of managers to analyze increasingly complex situations. The new approach presented in this paper opens the door to a new methodology for supply chain potentiality management. It offers an innovative data-driven approach that takes data as input and applies physical principles for supporting decision-making processes to monitor supply chain’s performance. With that approach, potentialities are seen as forces that push or pull the network within its multi-dimensional KPI space.

Thibaut Cerabona, Matthieu Lauras, Louis Faugère, Jean-Philippe Gitto, Benoit Montreuil, Frederick Benaben

Product and Service Systems


Value Proposition in Smart PSS Engineering: Case Study in the Residential Heating Appliance Industry

This paper explains the first steps of a smart PSS engineering approach, aimed at eliciting stakeholder needs, prototyping the value proposition, representing how the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) will capture value and share it with a collaborative network of stakeholders while identifying and prioritizing risks from the value proposition. The approach addresses two gaps in the field of smart PSS design: (i) the need of visualizing solutions to support the transformation of value propositions for the stakeholders into a contract mechanism supporting value capture by the offering company and (ii) the importance of integrating risk management during the design of Smart PSS value proposition

Camilo Murillo Coba, Xavier Boucher, François Vuillaume, Alexandre Gay, Jesus Gonzalez-Feliu

Collaborative Product and Service Customization in Fashion Companies

This paper focuses on the identification of collaborative strategies and practices adopted by companies of the fashion industry in the management of customized offerings (both products and services) along their supply chain (SC). A multiple case study approach is applied and four companies (both medium and large) were interviewed. The cross-case analysis enabled mapping the cases following two dimensions: type of market asking for the customization (B2B vs. B2C) and scope of customization (products vs. services). The analysis highlights the practices and processes related to the customization, the enabling technologies adopted, and the actors involved by a focal company in the collaboration (both in upstream and downstream networks) to offer the product or service that meet customer needs.

Elena Pessot, Laura Macchion, Irene Marchiori, Rosanna Fornasiero, Pedro Senna, Andrea Vinelli

The Digital Twin as a Knowledge-Based Engineering Enabler for Product Development

Industry 4.0 encompasses technologies that generate valuable insights from large data exchange networks. This, along with the growing digitalization of organizational information and knowledge, turns these assets into a valuable resource for product and process improvement and optimization. In this context, Knowledge-based Engineering (KBE) is presented as a way to efficiently capture and reuse organizational knowledge. As such, this work conceptualizes the Digital Twin, emerging technology as a KBE enabling application that employs organizational knowledge as the driving force behind product development. To this end, power transformer development is used as a case study.

Miguel Azevedo, Sérgio Tavares, António Lucas Soares

Collaboration Impacts


Building Business Impacts of an Industry 4.0 Ecosystem Through Collaborative Network Settings Between IT and Forest Companies

The paper provides on empirical example of co-innovation process within an Industry 4.0 ecosystem between Finnish IT sector, service designers, researchers and the forest industry companies. Based on empirical evidence the paper summarizes some of key challenges in building business impact from digitalization.

Katri Valkokari, Pasi Valkokari, Helena Kortelainen, Jutta Nyblom

The Role of Collaboration for Sustainable and Efficient Urban Logistics

The scarcity of resources is one of the main concerns for the present and the future of the environment and society. The “load factor” in logistic transport has a great potential for improvement, especially in the last-mile deliveries, as the transport of goods is largely fragmented between several small companies using small vehicles. This paper investigates the potential for collaboration to increase efficiency in urban logistics. Based on an overview of the concepts and initiatives regarding vertical and horizontal collaboration, a research agenda is proposed.

Leandro Carvalho, Jorge Freire de Sousa, Jorge Pinho de Sousa

A Balanced Sociotechnical Framework for Collaborative Networks 4.0

Our research question focusses on the complex networks of organizations of business partners that by exchanging data and sharing control collaborate for typical business or social objectives. We revisit such networks of organizations studied under the collaborative networks research area in a multidisciplinary attempt to construct a common balanced sociotechnical framework based on the interactions between social and engineering sciences. Our proposal discusses the collaborative network under the 4.0 following industry time frame classification, considering momentous evolution steps towards the digital. This paper presents and discusses research towards balanced sociotechnical concepts and definitions founded on previous studies with a recognized influence from social science and engineering systems. The paper further points out a strategy to validate the research in a Robotic Process Automation (RPA) case and, in the context of the HORUS project with BP Portugal.

Paula Urze, A. Luis Osório, Hamideh Afsarmanesh, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos

Boosting Sustainability Through Collaboration in Agri-food 4.0


Assessing and Selecting Sustainable and Resilient Suppliers in Agri-Food Supply Chains Using Artificial Intelligence: A Short Review

The supplier evaluation and selection process is critical to increase the sustainability and resilience of the agri-food supply chain. Therefore, in this sector, it is necessary to consider sustainability and resilience criteria in the supplier evaluation and selection process. The use of artificial intelligence techniques allows managing of a lot of information and the reduction of uncertainty for decision making. The objective of this article is to analyze articles that address the selection of suppliers in agrifood supply chains that pursue to increase their sustainability and resilience by using artificial intelligence techniques to analyze the techniques and criteria used and draw conclusions.

Antonio Zavala-Alcívar, María-José Verdecho, Juan-José Alfaro-Saiz

Assessing the Impact of Pumpkins Plantation, Harvest and Storage Decisions on a Collaborative Supply Chain with Data Analysis Tools

Successful pumpkins production requires the use of varieties that jointly with other factors yield well and produce pumpkins of the size, shape, color, and quality demanded by the market. But not only these issues are important. The perishable nature of pumpkins makes other issues such as how to prevent deterioration after harvest to become also relevant. In this paper the pumpkins plantation, harvest and storage (PHS) process is described and how some decisions affect certain goals, such as yield or conservation time. Additionally, some decision-making insights in a supply chain collaborative scenario made up of two stages: plantation/harvest and storage are given, where yield and conservation time trade-offs are outlined to develop win-win strategies. A real case using data analysis tools is analyzed. Results provide guidelines not only to make decisions independently on each stage but also to collaboratively work.

David Pérez, Maria de los Ángeles Rodríguez, Ángel Ortiz, Cècile Guyon

Impact Analysis of Industrial Standards on Blockchains for Food Supply Chains

One of the major challenges for the use of the Blockchain technology in industrial applications is the lack of existing standards. They ensure the interoperability of sensors, machines and the data-sharing between stakeholders within a food supply chain. Existing Blockchain-independent implementations of technologies for increasing transparency in supply chains use communication standards whose transferability to Blockchain applications has not yet been analysed sufficiently. This publication analyses the suitability of established standards regarding their use in Blockchains. In this context, the requirements for the distributed database and for the protection of sensitive company data must be considered. Therefore an analysis of eventually necessary changes is executed for the adoption of standards and how they could be implemented.

Themo Voswinckel, Dino Hardjosuwito, Torben Gehring, Ralph Siruet, Andreas Fuessler

A Decision Support Tool for the Selection of Promoting Actions to Encourage Collaboration in Projects for the Agriculture Sector

Development and innovation agencies promote consortiums of agricultural stakeholders to collaborate in the proposal of projects for public calls. To achieve this partnerships, these agencies should select between different promoting actions to be performed with two objectives: maximize the number of project proposals presented and minimize the resources invested. To support agencies with these decisions, a computer tool based on a multi-objective integer linear programming model is proposed. To deal with the two objectives the weighting sum method is implemented. The model is validated in different scenarios by means a realistic case of an agency in Brittany (France). The results show the conflict between the two objectives considered and the dependency of the solutions on the scenarios defined. As a conclusion it can be stated that: 1) decision-makers should be careful in defining the weights of each objective and 2) the impact of the different promoting actions on the level of stakeholders’ participation should be precisely estimated.

M. M. E. Alemany, F. Alarcón, D. Pérez, C. Guyon

Optimization Models to Improve First Quality Agricultural Production Through a Collaboration Program in Different Scenarios

Consumers increasingly require products with higher qualities, leading to loss units not meeting these requirements. Collaboration can be used to increase first quality products production and reduce waste generated along the chain. A collaboration program consisting in a system of investments made by retailers to cooperatives to improve the skills of farms is proposed for this aim. The novelty of this paper is threefold: 1) the business model considered in which cooperatives distribute funds among farms, 2) the inclusion of the dynamic state of products, modelling the quality variation timewise, and 3) the mathematical modelling of five scenarios with different criteria for allocating funds to farms. Results are analyzed and compared for the three aspects of sustainability concluding that: 1) the collaboration program increases the quality of products sold, and 2) interesting tradeoffs occur among the sustainability dimensions, enabling the reduction of unfairness among farms by slightly worsening economic aspects.

Ana Esteso, M. M. E. Alemany, Ángel Ortiz, Pascale Zaraté

Resilient Strategies and Sustainability in Agri-Food Supply Chains in the Face of High-Risk Events

Agri-food supply chains (AFSCs) are very vulnerable to high risks such as pandemics, causing economic and social impacts mainly on the most vulnerable population. Thus, it is a priority to implement resilient strategies that enable AFSCs to resist, respond and adapt to new market challenges. At the same time, implementing resilient strategies impact on the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The objective of this paper is twofold: analyze resilient strategies on AFSCs in the literature and identify how these resilient strategies applied in the face of high risks affect the achievement of sustainability dimensions. The analysis of the articles is carried out in three points: consequences faced by agri-food supply chains due to high risks, strategies applicable in AFSCs, and relationship between resilient strategies and the achievement of sustainability dimensions.

Antonio Zavala-Alcívar, María-José Verdecho, Juan-José Alfaro-Saiz

Digital Innovation Hubs for Digitalising European Industry


Cobotic Assembly Line Design Problem with Ergonomics

Demands for smaller lot sizes of mass-customized products increased the need for flexibility and adaptability in production lines. Semi-automatic manufacturing systems that involve human operators as well as technological equipment increase the flexibility of manufacturing systems. Such systems combine the benefits of human flexibility and new industrial and assistive technology. The key combinatorial problem to solve in the design of semi-automatic manufacturing lines is the assembly line balancing problem with the selection of equipment. An efficient and sustainable line design requires a cost-effective choice of equipment, and the presence of human increase the importance of ergonomics. In this work, we propose a Multi-objective Mixed-Integer Nonlinear Programming (MO-MINLP) for the design of semi-automated assembly lines. The objectives are the optimization of the design cost and the ergonomics level, modeled with the fatigue and recovery of workers. We propose to solve the problem with a bi-objective local search algorithm, based on the Iterative Local Search metaheuristic. We apply the algorithm on a case study to illustrate the originality of the problem and the solving algorithm.

Mohammed-Amine Abdous, Xavier Delorme, Daria Battini

Analysis of Manufacturing Platforms in the Context of Zero-Defect Process Establishment

The fourth Industrial Revolution sets higher standards for the manufacturing itself and all associated processes. A promising direction in this context is the concept of Zero-Defect Manufacturing (ZDM) aiming at further automatization and optimisation of the production processes to reduce resources and avoid useless elements in the production chains. Moreover, the modern industrial systems are highly complex and require collaboration with other systems for the products’ manufacturing and maintenance. This fact leads to the necessity for the better approaches for design, development, evaluation and assessment of manufacturing systems. The goal of this article is to assess some key European research projects on industrial manufacturing to re-use their achievements for design of the ZDM systems. Another goal is to identify the basis for an umbrella platform able to integrate the functionalities of other manufacturing platforms. Thus, interoperability and collaboration issues are also in the scope of this work.

Artem A. Nazarenko, Joao Sarraipa, Luis M. Camarinha-Matos, Marc Dorchain, Ricardo Jardim-Goncalves

Towards a Reference Model for Configuring Services Portfolio of Digital Innovation Hubs: The ETBSD Model

In today’s manufacturing domain, companies need to be able to join the Industry 4.0 paradigm and, more in particular, the Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) revolution. However, along this transition, often for companies it could be not enough to deploy new digital technologies in their plant, demonstrating a digital technology readiness. They need to be able to adequately employ this kind of technologies and exploit their potentialities for reaching a suitable digital maturity. In this context, technical expertise, experimental capabilities, and specialist knowledge often represent for companies, and more particularly for SMEs, relevant gaps in the CPS application domains. To lower barriers, especially for SMEs, and to realise the potential of growing autonomy in CPSs, competence centres and, with a broader perspective, (regional/pan-EU) Digital Innovation Hubs (DIH) are arising. This paper introduces the conceptual Ecosystem-Technology-Business-Skills-Data (ETBSD) reference model that DIHs can use to configure their services portfolios unveiling new technological and business opportunities.

Claudio Sassanelli, Hervé Panetto, Wided Guedria, Sergio Terzi, Guy Doumeingts

Developing Digital Capabilities for SMEs: SMART4ALL’s Cross-Border Experiments for Emerging Technology Development and Adoption

This paper outline a proposal to study the build-up process of digital capabilities in SMEs and technology-based startups that are produced through the exchange of complementary knowledge between external stakeholders. The SMART4ALL consortium aims to accelerate the launch and adoption of emerging technologies that potentially ensure the improvement of digital infrastructure of the SMEs located in South- Eastern and Central Europe. The introduction of Pathfinder Application Experiments are cross-border experiments that pursue the use of cross-domain of CLEC, CPS and the IoT technologies based co-opetition, co-evolution and co-specialization processes which will be combined in parallel with expertise in R&D, networking and business strategies. Most of these innovation activities are geared towards the development of digital capabilities apply in agriculture, transport, environment and the interconnection of anything, which are considered to be low-embedded digitalization. The research proposal aims to answer what elements influence the fast track build-up of digital capabilities in SMEs and start-ups participants and what organizational elements are influenced by digital capabilities support the launch and adoption of emerging technology?

Anna K. Lopez-Hernandez, J. Francisco Blanes Noguera

Collaborative Networks for Health and Wellness Data Management


A Framework for the Collaborative Evaluation of Service Outsourcing Contracts in Pharmaceutical Logistics

The management of pharmaceutical logistics is mainly outsourced to external service providers as it requires an efficient organization of warehouses and drug flows, and an optimized and long-term process planning in collaboration with several healthcare stakeholders. This work develops a reference tool to evaluate the efficiency of the Pharmaceutical Logistics Service Outsourcing Contract, which includes the technical specifications and the operating procedures of the logistic service. It structures the data to be collected and analysed, from the viewpoint of the several stakeholders of the drug logistics service, for evaluating the elements of: Complexity, Price, Management system, and Quality.

Elena Pessot, Gianni De Togni

Towards a Collaborative Ontology-Based Decision Support System to Foster Healthy and Tailored Diets

Nutrition-related diseases can considerably contribute to many different health-related problems and can impact on several segments of the population. Promoting balanced diet plans is therefore pivotal; however, this is not a trivial task as it requires different stakeholders (nutrition experts, agro-industrial businesses and consumers) to cooperate. This work introduces a prototypical ontology-based decision support system to enable such a cooperation, allowing nutrition experts to rely on a support tool when developing diet plans, consumers to received tailored suggestions and to be informed regarding new food products that could have an effect on specific their health condition, and agro-industrial companies to divulge characteristics of novel food products and their expected effects. These stakeholders can also exchange comments, suggestions and observations. The decision support system relies on widely-adopted ontologies and its use is introduced by two scenarios.

Daniele Spoladore, Marco Sacco

Leveraging on Enterprise Building Information Models in Health Care Services: The Case of St. Olav University Hospital

Building Information Models (BIM) play a central role in the construction phase of buildings. At St. Olav University Hospital in Norway, the focus has been on generating value from BIM during the entire lifecycle of the many buildings that comprise the hospital and supporting the core business processes of the hospital during the operations phase. St. Olav University Hospital has been at the forefront of developing Enterprise BIM, where the information from BIM are utilized together with other data and information, such as availability, positioning and movements of equipment and use of the different physical spaces. In this paper, we focus on the use of EBIM and how they could support Collaborative Networks of different stakeholders and their interactions with one another, with the building facilities and the relevant equipment for supporting daily operations.

Sobah Abbas Petersen, Tor Åsmund Evjen, Seyed Reza Hosseini Raviz, John Krogstie


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