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INSPIRE: Business Models for Flexible and Sustainable Manufacturing

The main focus of INSPIRE is on the development of innovative business models that create flexible networks based on intensified processing, that benefits more local production in Europe within the 5 years after the end of this study. Special attention will be given to how this approach would be responding to the needs of SMEs as partners in value chains.

Performing an early innovation assessment and developing optimal exploitation strategies to facilitate successful market entry.

INSPIRE's objectives

Specific objectives are: Understanding the major drivers and requirements for more flexible and demand-driven sustainable manufacturing and processing via examination of the present landscape and evaluation of best practices and use cases in a limited but complementary and representative selection of manufacturing and process industries with great potential for implementing a customer-driven model (automotive, steel, chemicals, bio-based economy). Deriving how these drivers and requirements for more flexible, demand-driven and sustainable operations and intensified processing will shape the future manufacturing and process industries and what kind of business models it would necessitate. Define the research needs and formulate an industry supported roadmap for the development of ambitious but realistic transition of industry to adopt the proposed business model solutions for flexible operations in process industry leading to increased throughput while maintaining high levels of customization, to create customer-driven supply chains and optimizing resources use and sharing across industries. And the return of production to Europe as a consequence. Develop replication strategies and KPI-based methodology to stimulate evaluation and benefits taking up new developed business models, proposing research directions on how business models developed from a regional system perspective can be replicated and scaled up for use elsewhere.



Based on the description of the current European landscape and the link between intensified processing and flexibility, the expected outcome of this project would be the development of innovative business models for a selection of complementary sectors where new more flexible and demand driven business solutions and supply chain configurations are emerging (e.g. 3D printing/additive manufacturing, bio-based materials and chemicals, mass customization in the automotive industry). The project will furthermore outline research needs, deployment routes (roadmap) and a guideline to measure and assess the performance of such novel models under different scenarios. The project is expected to provide guidelines as to how more local business opportunities in Europe could be created, how the environmental impact could be reduced in a cost effective and sustainable manner, continuously taking customer needs into account.

PNO Participation

Luk Aerts

Luk Aerts
For further information about INSPIRE, please contact Luk Aerts. 


More information

Find out more about INSPIRE. Visit the INSPIRE website.

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