Project Details


Mass customization, as a strategy aiming to meet individual customer requirements with near mass production efficiency, has become a trend in recent times. However it still has some limitations such as low customer involvement and the complexity induced by increasing offering variety. Industry 4.0 is a collective term for technologies and concepts of value chain organization which can be seen as an enabler to address the above issues.
The ambition of this project is to establish a scientific international pole in the area of variety and complexity management considering industry 4.0. The complexity stems mainly from the heightened customer centricity of the companies and highly connected autonomous systems, combining of physical and intangible (cyber) elements. The objectives of the project can be classified into education, research and economic dimensions.
Regarding education, a starting point is the current platforms and ongoing teaching and research activities within the partners’ institutions. The aim is to share best practices related to active and blended learning among the partners’ institutions to support a smooth transition towards industry 4.0 while dealing with the underlying complexity. Ultimately, the project will help building an international Master of Science. More specifically, the following actions will be planned:
 Researchers and students visits of the demonstration platforms, in particular between BIBA and Mines Saint-Etienne (due to already existing Erasmus agreement).
 Building a repository of the teaching content and modes among the project partners
 Outlining the general learning outcomes for a successful career path in the domain of operations management within the industry 4.0 context.
In terms of research objectives, the project is expected to result in a Scientific Interest Group (SIG) in the domain of variety and complexity management in the era of industry 4.0 focusing on aspects such as business model, relevant strategies, co-creation, dynamic demands, etc. The SIG will involve not only the project partners but also other members, especially regional intermediaries such as clusters and Digital Innovation Hubs. Indeed, the setup phase of this project has shown that the topic might be relevant to several institutions within the priority graphical areas and beyond. In addition, the following actions will be planned:
 Co-supervised master internships, 2 internships per year.
 PhD and master students’ stays abroad, 2 stays per year.
 Special sessions at international conferences, e.g. APMS – Advances in Production Management Systems (IFIP WG5.7), MCPC, 2 during the project period.
 Joint conference papers, 3 during the project period.
 Joint journal papers, 2 during the project period.
 A coordinated special issue during the second year of the project involving researchers from outside the project as well and belonging to the priority graphical regions (Baden-Wurttemberg).
 Two international workshops per year, to work on the above scientific activities and for project management.
These actions are expected to feed the research within each of the partners’ institutions and to promote the project topics among the scientific community.
The third dimension of the objectives is the economic one, which is in turn, positively impacted by the educational and research objectives. The Master of Science is expected to help creating a cross-region career path relying on the best teaching practices in each of the institutions of the project partners. The research activities will be conducted in relation with case companies with the aim being to provide a decision making support to SMEs towards more efficiency in dealing with the variety and complexity under industry 4.0 circumstances. Furthermore, it is planned to work with local clusters to:
 Organise national workshops involving SMEs, once a year.
 Conduct an exploratory survey among SMEs.
Short titleVariety
Effective start/end date01/01/201930/06/2022


  • École des mines de Saint-Étienne: DKK53,640.00


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