Innovative Industries and Organizations
A) Systems and Technology Management
The focus is to promote the sustainability and competitiveness of manufacturing systems and organizations. Key Industrial Management strategies and tools for advanced manufacturing management systems are crucial objects of research and application for reengineering the future economic tissue of goods and services.
- Efficient and reliable manufacturing systems: address sustainability, integrating the full social, environmental and economic costs and benefits (externalities) at local, regional and national levels. The quality, reliability and maintainability of products should be incorporated in the development phase and assured during the production process.
- Flexible Industries: Manufacturing industries worldwide are experiencing increasing demands of higher product complexity and diversity from their markets, which require continuous and dynamic change of product design tools, production technologies, supply chain strategies, logistics and total quality management practices.
- Modelling and simulation provide the underlying support to improve both efficiency and flexibility, enhancing new industrial systems performance. The development and integration of different modelling approaches is to be pursued.
- Energy efficiency: Energy and materials efficient consumption, best available technologies development and/or implementation, smart energy management, the use of renewable power sources, all are key issues to strengthen industry sustainability, contributing to reduce CO2 emissions as well as the country’s energy dependency on imported petrol derivatives. Furthermore, enabling technology such as: renewable energy, regenerative energy, storage energy systems, power quality, energy efficiency, load shift systems are to be explored.
- Human factors: Human factors engineering plays an important role, as there are several challenges posed by new forms of work and new industrial organization paradigms, which also highlights the importance of understanding the human role as the key-element in interacting systems. This role will be essentially centered on the improvement of work contexts, not only by addressing working conditions but also by anticipating the future challenges of the industry transformation.
B) Information and Communication Technologies
The growing complexity of industrial environments is a great challenge. ICT aims at improving the sustainability and adaptability of such manufacturing systems and its integration within intelligent business models and processes. In this domain, ICT will be the basis of more collaborative and intelligent manufacturing systems involving an increasing number of stakeholders, connecting industries elements and providing value added services.
- Organizational architectures: Collaboration and competition are increasingly relevant approaches to promote inter-organizational communication and effective ways of using resources. Open business models that place value on transparency, stakeholder inclusion, and accountability create new opportunities for value networks to collectively find effective responses to sustainability challenges by facilitating the access to each other’s’ resources and processes to create or capture value. New organizational models are crucial to address new challenges in modern industries, for reaching improved labour power, object, means, and division of labour, and the control of labour at the organizational and institutional level.
- Web-based technology for developing product specification and customer ordering systems for agile management of manufacturing firms.
- User led innovation: Develop, study and promote interaction models and processes for user led innovation, through the use of what it are coined creative technologies. Tools that enable non-specialists to create, express and share with others their own creations.
- Development of Domain Specific Languages (DSL) can be a crucial aid in this context to ease the programming of robots or other industrial control systems, as well as to build more user-friendly interfaces.
- Human perception, interaction and user interfaces with focus on the human adaptation to new interfaces and displays, motor interaction, biomechanics and multimodal perception.
C) Advanced Mechatronics for Industry
Supporting technologies to improve industry performance are essential to achieve industries sustainability. It requires the development of new methods and technologies applied to new manufacturing processes with human beings in a motivating atmosphere.
- Pro-active Robotic Co-workers: The development of cognitive robots and its integration in human-dominated areas in a way allowing humans and robots to naturally and efficiently cooperate on a true peer-to-peer level. This implies robots able to understand what their human partners are doing, able to anticipate/detect errors and propose or execute corrective actions, able to adapt to different human partners and to learn new tasks directly from them.
- The development of smart interconnected embedded components and systems supporting mixed criticality, powered by networked energy efficient heterogeneous many-core systems. Also, driven by the cost reduction, time to market pressure and design flexibility, the industry trend is nowadays toward the consolidation of a wide range of functions, from communications to data processing, into an intelligent single unit. Real-time hypervisors and hybrid operating systems are enabling technologies to reach this aim.
D) Training and Education
Highly skilled industrial employees are a key resource for industrial sustainability and competitiveness. Therefore, a relevant issue centers on human potential and knowledge creation. In this sense, there is a need to identify competencies requirements for the factories of the future, and further, to create training and formation models and experimental tools that foster the development of the adequate competencies.
ALGORITMI integrates crucial multidisciplinary competencies to ensure the necessary industry transformation by a coordinated research effort to develop and deploy a set of innovative enabler technologies able to address future challenges.
The problems posed by current financial and economic crisis in EU require enhanced focus on emerging opportunities in order to ensure the realization of Europe 2020 priorities:
A) Smart growth – developing an economy based on knowledge and innovation. Smart growth approaches can help communities balance development with environmental protection, economics, and quality of life, therefore becoming more resilient to economic and financial shocks.
- Social innovation integrates several emerging initiatives that extend and strengthen government services, opening them up to the participation of citizens and civil society organizations, therefore promoting citizen empowerment and social cohesion.
- A greater concern with the expense, judicious, and optimized use of available resources implies a greater concern with the improvement of the natural environment in urban areas. Effective and optimized urban planning, coupled with adequate approaches to risk assessment, prevention and mitigation, can play an important role in a better resilience of cities to future shocks and stresses to the urban infrastructure system associated with climate change and economic challenges.
- Businesses and civil society are being pressured to develop and implement innovative business models that promote intra- and inter-organizational collaboration and the engagement of citizens in various processes, from innovation to production to marketing.
B) Inclusive growth – fostering a high-employment economy delivering economic, social and territorial cohesion.
- Social protection measures must be implemented to build the long term resilience of vulnerable groups to economic crises. The drive for a more dynamic economy that adequately addresses the problems of poverty, income distribution and social exclusion, is widely felt. Entrepreneurship and enhanced ability of businesses to respond to new policies should be fostered.
- The use of Internet and the web is becoming widespread. It is used to communicate, search information, make business, pursue self-education, sharing ideas, create value from individual talent, and engage with civic and political issues. Therefore, a trusted environment for individuals and business to interact online promotes economic and social cohesion.
- Information and communication technologies provide innovative opportunities to promote the participation of citizens in government-sponsored activities, and empower citizens to influence political and government decisions. Opening government data to the public empower citizens define solutions to local problems, contribute to improve the efficacy and responsiveness of governments, and help building territorial cohesion.
Overall, RAO projects will need to effectively manage resources, costs, quality, scope, while keeping the risk controlled, under uncertain scenarios and conflicting objectives.
The Centre ALGORITMI integrates research groups in areas relevant to the development of structures, processes and technological tools for organizational resilience. Of particular relevance are the competencies in information systems and technology in organizations and society, computer science and technology and industrial engineering and management.
Objectives of the Thematic Line
The research framework shares a holist view over the organization’s systems, where agility, optimization, risk management and data intelligence are common practices, and organizes its research objectives so that the individual objectives of each researcher can contribute for the ALGORITMI vision of Resilient and Agile Organizations.
Scientific and Technological Objectives:
- To study the influence of social entrepreneurship on resilience.
- To study the use of social innovations to repurpose knowledge capabilities and resources.
- To study the influence of community empowerment on effective monitoring of risks.
- To study the influence of open government practices and data on organizational agility and resilience.
- To develop new employment structures models to accommodate part-time work and elderly contributions.
- To develop new business models for new types of opportunities (e.g. leisure industry, social care of the elderly).
- To develop a common theoretical understanding of organizational resilience grounded on knowledge generated in relevant disciplines.
- To develop new models and tools for engagement of citizens in crisis management.
- To develop new business models for niche market opportunities in a changing economy.
- To develop urban planning measures applied in the mitigation of urban risks.
- To develop strategies and tools that promote resilient digital environments effectively supporting the interaction of individuals and businesses intended on developing knowledge capabilities and resources.
- To develop effective approaches and tools to manage cyber risks.
- To develop strategies and tools for effective integration of risk management into organizational resilience planning.
- To develop methods and tools to measure, monitor and optimize organizational agility and resilience.
- To apply machine learning to automatically identify informative content to leverage the response and recovery plans and interventions, thus contributing to agile and resilient organizations.
- To apply agent-based modelling, simulation and optimization of processes as tools to direct collective deliberate attention, develop skills sets and define organizational architectures that leverage the balance required to manage performance and adaptation of organizations to changes in the environment.
- To implement intelligent strategies for permanent availability of critical data and continuity of business in municipalities.
- To integrate cybernetics and collective intelligence concepts and tools to think organizational resilience that evolves in response to shocks, in order to ensure organizational thriving in new conditions.
- To design Decision Support Systems for Community resilience.
- To design University centered social innovation mechanisms.
- To define Doctoral Curricular Units where concepts, approaches and tools for organizational resilience are explored and further developed.