Zaragoza Logistics Center takes part in a European project focused on creating flexible business models that promote industry growth


Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) is deep into the European project “Inspire”, which aims to achieve a European industry that is more flexible in customer-driven value chains to increase its productivity and foster its growth. The research center is responsible for creating new business models and validating them in different industries to see how they would behave.

Zaragoza, September 22nd 2016

Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC), a research institute sponsored by the Government of Aragón in Spain in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is immersed in a European Commission project called “Inspire” in the framework of the Public-Private Partnership SPIRE (Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency). The project goal is to increase the competitiveness of European industry to foster its growth after the relocation it has suffered.

“Europe needs to be more flexible to bring back business,” says the Director of Research Programs at ZLC, Carolina Ciprés, so it is necessary to focus on producing differentiated products with high added value, reducing production costs, increasing product quality, minimizing time to market and optimizing strategies for resource efficiency.

Inspire conducts a preliminary investigation about how such innovative business models should be to encourage that such flexible networks exist. According to Ciprés, the key of the project is that “the industry is involved throughout the process to validate the results of our studies before their implementation in a real industry.” Inspire is a “transversal” project because it is not based on a single industry, but will be validated in “areas where we believe this can be an added value: steel, chemical, pharmaceutical, water treatment, automotive…”.

Although the project involves many industries, the consortium is formed of four research partners that are led by PNO Innovation from Belgium. The other partners are ZLC (Fundación Zaragoza Logistics Center), TNO (Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research) and CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche).

ZLC coordinates two out of the six work packages that form the structure of the project: the development and validation of business models that will allow European flexible production, and the deployment of such models in the proposed scenarios.

The project has an “interesting and valuable” approach by bringing together manufacturing and process industry, and regional industrial clusters to study what changes shoul be addressed in business models in Europe.

“According to the future trends in Europe, we develop feasible scenarios and simulate how the created business models will behave in each of them”, explains Ciprés. An application would be to predict what technologies should be used in the proposed scenarios (e.g. a scenario of limited resources and energy). Another application would be the adaptation to 3D printing when such technology has a higher degree of implementation in the industry.

The project approach is to create processes that are driven to market demand and to optimize the resources of such processes. Ciprés ensures that Inspire will pay particular attention to SMEs so that “as part of the value chain, can benefit from these intensified processes”.

For more information, contact with:
* Sira Marqueta
Marketing Director at Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC)
608 237 804 / [email protected]

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