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Towards a European E-Commerce Ambient in the Craft Sector

Objective

The EASYCRAFT project addresses the challenges faced by craft sector SMEs in a pan-European basis, in order to increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace. The main objectives is to develop an e-commerce platform that combines innovative distributed seamless technologies and a user-oriented approach, and is tailored to the requirements of craft industries and craft supply chain. The platform will offer support for collaborative work between players in the craft sector, advanced methods for product promotion, and personalised delivery of information to craft consumers and trading of craft products. The applicability, acceptability and impact of the platform will be assessed through trial operation with the involvement of user partners in combination with training and will result in the establishment of an organisational framework to undertake and introduce the innovative working environment into the crafts industry. EASYCRAFT will employ dissemination activities in European-wide dimension in order to reach the critical user basis, and will elaborate a Business Plan for the commercial exploitation of the EASYCRAFT platform.

OBJECTIVES
The main objectives of the EASYCRAFT Project are to:
- Develop the EASYCRAFT e-commerce platform for SMEs in the craft sector, that will constitute a virtual collaborative environment supporting the complete value chain and introducing regional craft business communities to the global digital Economy;
- Establish an organisational framework and implement a training programme to introduce the innovative working environment into the crafts industry on a pan-European basis;
- Provide new econometric models to assess and forecast the impact of new e-commerce solutions and practices for the crafts industry;
- Deploy a systematic approach to determine the socio-economic factors and the involvement of public and private sector players, in order to establish a coherent framework to support and promote the use of e-commerce systems by SMEs in the European craft sector;
- Develop a commercially viable Business Plan to lunch and competitively position the EASYCRAFT system in the European Marketplace.

DESCRIPTION OF WORK
The project work is composed of several phases. The first is purely technological and addresses the development of the e-Commerce platform that will support the connection of craft business communities, mainly located in underprivileged, rural areas, with the global marketplace. This platform is visualised as a virtual workspace where the single stand-alone product is introduced as a virtual entity, which can be shared among the different users of the value chain. The main components of the system are:
a) the distributed databases where craft producers provide product content;
b) middleware implementation methods for interconnecting the heterogeneous databases to the virtual workspace and supporting user functionality that provides the different users with the ability to collaborate and create and edit virtual space products;
c) intelligent access and user profiling for the craft product consumers.

The second phase involves the establishment of an organisational framework to introduce craft-based local economies to this innovative e-commerce platform. The craft industry lacks knowledge and experience in the use of information technologies and e-commerce solutions. The project will perform extensive dissemination and training activities aimed at EASYCRAFT System participants. In addition, the project will seek to assess and evaluate the impact of e-commerce solutions and practices in the craft industry, and determine the role to be played by public and private organisations on a pan-European basis. The third phase involves commercial exploitation of the System in the European marketplace. A detailed Business Plan will be prepared based on extensive research regarding the European craft sector and best-practice examples of the use of e-commerce solutions with a commercial perspective. The Business Plan will include a SWOT analysis, financial projections and a detailed marketing and sales strategy.

Funding Scheme

ACM - Preparatory, accompanying and support measures

Coordinator

EGNATIA EPIRUS FOUNDATION
Address
Anthrakitou 5 & Tsechouli Street
45221 Kastro Ioanninon, Ioannina
Greece

Participants (8)

ARBEITSGEMEINSCHAFT DER HANDWERKSKAMMERN RHEINLAND- PFALZ
Germany
Address
Dagobertstrasse 2
55116 Mainz
FUNDATIA PENTRU MESTESUGURI
Romania
Address
Str. Rosia Montana, Nr. 3, Bl. M20, Ap. 57, Sc. 2, Sect. 6
77584 Bucuresti
LATVIJAS UNIVERSITATES MATEMATIKAS UN INFORMATIKAS INSTITUTS
Latvia
Address
Raina Bulvaris 29
Riga
SATAKUNTA INSTITUTE OF ARTS AND CRAFTS
Finland
Address
Pakkalantie 3
29250 Nakkila
SVETOVA RADA REMESIEL - SLOVENSKO
Slovakia
Address
Zamocnicka 5
81324 Bratislava
SYSTEMA TECHNOLOGIES S.A.
Greece
Address
Mesogion Av. 215
11525 Athens
UNIVERSITY OF IOANNINA
Greece
Address
Panepistimioupoli Ioanninon
45110 Ioannina
WORLD CRAFTS COUNCIL-EUROPE
Belgium
Address
50 Rue Achille Chavee
7100 La Louviere