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First European digital marketplace for the metal and plastics industry resorts to INESC TEC technology

INESC TEC’s Centre for Enterprise Systems Engineering (CESE) is one of the participants in the European project MARKET4.0, which aims to develop a European online platform dedicated to selling industrial equipment and associated digital services, while testing and validating the importance of these new sales channels in B2B flows, namely in the plastics and metal sectors.

10th February 2021

Europe represents 36% of the world's machinery and equipment production market. Selling in distant markets requires a strong presence in destination countries, which implies a long maturation period, specialised training in foreign markets and significant effort. In this sense, selling equipment online is a balancing and useful solution, which is now available.

"Buying a €200 gadget online or industrial equipment worth €1M is not quite the same. The decision-making process regarding the latter is longer and more difficult, and the negotiation is much more demanding. However, it’s possible to accelerate this process through online digital platforms, where the buyer can assess the features of the equipment using digital tools, while the seller is able to present numerous solutions”, stated Filipe David Ferreira, CESE researcher.

The researchers are developing an online configurator for customising machines for the metal industry, “where the customers can specify and choose particular components that meet their needs, which streamlines the process and makes decision-making more agile and user-friendly", explained Filipe David Ferreira.

The project explores and applies the Reference Model of the International Data Spaces Association (IDSA), which supports the creation of safe and reliable solutions and environments for the sharing and exchange of data between organisations.

There are Portuguese industrial SMEs currently testing this Marketplace in a real environment - like RICO, a manufacturer of sheet metal machinery.

The MARKET 4.0 - A Multi-Sided Business Platform for Plug and Produce Industrial Product Service Systems is co-funded by the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020, under the agreement No. 822064. The solution presented by INESC TEC is financed within the scope the 2nd call of the project, supporting the connection of technologies and services to this Marketplace. The project’s duration is 12 months, starting in November 2020.

The researcher mentioned in this news piece is associated with INESC TEC.