Growing demand for development of products of higher quality and variety within an international environment characterized by fierce competition has put in particular SMEs in front of a number of significant challenges such as: how best to design and innovate, how to understand constantly shifting customer needs, how to produce the products that meet those needs within tight budget and time constraints.
Forming international networks through co-operation between companies (virtual organisations) of different engineering domains has become an important business strategy for SMEs to respond to these challenges. This brings about the prospect of ad hoc integration of systems across organisational boundaries to support collaborations that may last for a single transaction or evolve dynamically over many years. The dynamic character of the collaboration sets new requirements for scalability, responsiveness and adaptability that necessitate the on-demand creation and self-management of dynamically evolving virtual organisations spanning national and enterprise borders, where the participating entities (enterprises or individuals) pool resources, information and knowledge in order to achieve common objectives.
IMPORTNET will be a radical invention in the area of cross-enterprise interoperability between proprietary systems and cooperation across engineering domains through the ontology based sharing of knowledge. The project aims to promote breakthrough research and technological developments on "Providing an open-source environment and operative models for digital business ecosystems for SMEs". The development of an open source semantic integration framework aims to facilitate an affordable cross-organisational co-operation for SMEs and will operate in dynamically changing work environments. The framework forms the basis for an open and participatory environment that offers various applications to support the set-up of and work in networked organisations.
Funding SchemeSTREP - Specific Targeted Research Project
600041 Kottivakkam, Chennai
74523 Schwaebisch Hall
NE1 7RU Newcastle Upon Tyne