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A Multi-agent Approach to Digital Business Ecosystems

Periodic Report Summary - ECOBUSINESS (A multi-agent approach to digital business ecosystems)

The primary goal of the ECOBUSINESS project was to apply innovative business methodologies and new technological tools to improve the position of European Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Based around the concept of 'EcoBusiness', this project was focussed on gaining scientific, technological and business knowledge in order to devise innovative techniques for the design and development of the first Multi-agent digital business ecosystem (MADBE) that could be used by European SMEs.

MADBE was to be developed under the emerging Digital business ecosystem (DBE) concept, which provided a better understanding of the behaviour of organisations, mainly SMEs, within a specific context, namely the one of business, and their evolution within the particular ecosystem. A digital ecosystem could be described as a self-organising digital infrastructure aimed at creating a digital environment for networked organisations that supported the cooperation, the knowledge sharing and the development of open and adaptive technologies and evolutionary business models.

The system would provide more sophisticated negotiation mechanisms to the organisations, enriched by learning and optimisation tools in order to allow a single organisation to dynamically package and compose services, either from its own offering or those provided by other SMEs, into a larger, more complex service package. With this new collaborative approach, the SMEs were anticipated to improve their competitiveness and production while establishing new collaborations with other organisations.

After 24 months since the beginning of the project, MADBE was already designed and a first prototype was available. The final product, once validated, tested and successfully deployed, would produce a large impact in the European context increasing the productivity and the collaborations of the European SMEs and facilitating a better cooperation between SMEs and other organisations. These collaborations would permit them to offer improved services that would benefit not only participant entities, but also final users of the service, e.g. 'other' companies, governments and European citizens. Through joining the enterprise digital ecosystem that was provided by MADBE, any European SME would benefit by the generation of new links of cooperation and collaboration with other companies which would also cover their necessities in a cooperative manner.

More information regarding the project could be provided by the relevant website, http://www.ecobusiness.cat.