Skip to main content

Programme Category


Article available in the folowing languages:

Business models with new supply chains for sustainable customer-driven small series production

Specific challenge:For small series production of, for instance, consumer goods, the traditional supply chains are not suitable. Although internet sales, both B2C and B2B, are fast growing, most of the underlying supply models are still traditional. The change to a faster supply of smaller series and fully personalised products is hampered by the fact that current industrial supply chains are mainly cost-driven, resulting in large series and long lead times. Supply and demand are not in balance. Quality and customer satisfaction are often compromised. Moreover actual production is taking place anywhere in the world and does insufficiently take into account issues of social, environmental and energy sustainability.

Scope: The internet has the potential to support a fully new supply chain model that is fully customer driven. New business solutions should enable consumers to become designers and ""customisers""; retailers to become virtual business brokers; manufacturers to produce in a distributed and small scale manner; and suppliers to be more flexible and demand-driven.

Research activities should focus on all of the following areas:

•   Integrated business model solutions for customer-driven supply chain management.

•   Practical solutions for the ownership, control and management of the related supply chain data

•  Novel distributed manufacturing, sourcing and design solutions linking individual ""home-based"" designers and manufacturers to the supply-chain promoting social inclusion and deploying skills locally available.

•  Solutions for local sourcing and supply, thus reducing the environmental footprint.

The projects are expected to include use-case demonstrations aiming at rapid deployment of the novel business solutions in particular consumer-targeted domains. All relevant supply-chain stakeholders are expected to participate.

For this topic, proposals should include an outline of the initial exploitation and business plans, which will be developed further in the proposal project.

Activities expected to focus on Technology Readiness Levels 6 – 7. A significant participation of SMEs with R&D capacities is encouraged.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU between EUR 6 and 8 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected impact:

•  Return of delocalised manufacturing to Europe, in the order of at least 5% of the total manufacturing capacity, in the application area targeted by the project, within 5 years after the end of project;

•  Reduction in the environmental footprint compared to products produced in the traditional value chains by 20% through less stock, less waste, and less transportation;

•  Creation of a novel supply network involving at least 100 organisations and individuals at the end of the project and 1000 organisations and individuals within 5 years after the end of project;

• Creation of new embedded services supporting the customer-driven supply chain.

Type of action: Innovation Actions.