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Sustain-Owner Report Summary

Project ID: 645733
Funded under: H2020-EU.1.3.3.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Sustain-Owner (Sustainable Design and Management of Industrial Assets through Total Value and Cost of Ownership)

Reporting period: 2015-01-01 to 2016-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

The project investigates the potential of Total Value and Cost of Ownership (TVO, TCO) for supporting the design and through-life management of industrial assets.
Until now, some leading companies that are aware of all the costs throughout the asset life cycle use TCO to support procurement, operations and maintenance decisions. The benefit of using TCO is that a decision maker could be incentivised to go beyond the consideration of capital expenditure, and think of the potential whole-life cost arising through the use of their assets. In this regard, TCO helps achieving a cost-efficient life cycle management of the assets owned by the company. But TCO models are still poorly practiced in industry, in spite of their advantages. Further on, the flavour of the day in the industrial and academic world is to encourage innovative thinking to extract the maximum value from the assets, instead of thinking only about cost. Value can be tangible or intangible, and is determined by the organization and its stakeholders, thus TVO extends cost-based decisions. Although the importance of value maximisation in physical asset management is currently accepted, there are few works clarifying what value means, how to identify and quantify value, how to base decisions on it.
The purpose of this project is to study the evolution of TVO and TCO as used in industry and understood by academics, with the aim to develop a framework for understanding, quantifying, and using TVO / TCO for decision-making. Final output of the project is the development of a framework, substantiated by theory and practice thanks to the involvement, besides academics, of industrial experts, that will be invited to join the project through interviews at company sites and industrial workshops at the universities.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

The first reporting period of the project allowed getting to the definition of the first hypothesized version of the final Sustainowner framework and to the definition of a common protocol for data collection from industry that will allow to empirically confirm / reformulate the framework. Moreover, the technical and scientific workshops allowed to disseminate the project’s results and to collect feedbacks from the industrial stakeholders that will allow strengthening the formulation process of the final version of the framework that will be delivered at the end of the project. The research activities done, thanks to the collaborations and exchanges among the project’s participants during the reporting period, brought to the following measurable outputs: 6 papers in scientific conferences; 3 papers in scientific journals; organization of 2 special sessions at international conferences towards the accomplishment of the networking goals; 19 Scientific and Technical workshops involving more than 50 companies and professional institutions coming from different industrial sectors.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

Overall, we aim at studying how asset life cycle management is possible thanks to TVO / TCO, providing the asset owner the capability to develop a sustainable factory according to the economic, social and environmental requirements of the local industry. Cross-fertilization of research and industry will be achieved through knowledge sharing between academics and industrial experts involved through interviews and workshops. Publications will provide tangible outputs to promote knowledge sharing. SUSTAIN-OWNER will impact on the researchers’ personal knowledge on the topic of Total Value and Cost of Ownership (TVO, TCO), both from a theoretical, academic and a practical, industrial perspective. From this point of view the partnership will prove to be a source of more experience and opportunities, both at local and international level. In fact, researchers may benefit from such an intersectoral and an international partnership, which will give them plenty of opportunities to improve their skills and visibilities by taking part in theoretical discussions needed for the framework development, business cases analysis, workshops with industry and events in other countries. The mobility among institutions is also a good potential for individuals to enlarge their professional network and open up potential future career perspectives.
Considering specifically the progressive knowledge sharing made possible by the project work-plan, each individual will get the most benefits thanks to the cyclic process envisioned for the research and innovation activities: this is not only favouring an improvement of initial theories, built by academics, through the exploitation of the industrial experiences shared with the involved companies; a progressive growth of skills of individuals participating in the project activities is also facilitated, thus finally impacting on their personal knowledge on the topic of TVO and TCO.

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