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Researchers support the manufacturing industry by anticipating disruptions in supply chains

Over the next three years, a group of European researchers, including a team from INESC TEC, will work on the development of management models to support the manufacturing industry – namely small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); the goal is to identify potential disruptions in current and future supply chains. This work will take place within the European RISE-SME project, focusing on four industrial ecosystems: Agro-food, Digital, Mobility and Transportation, and Textile.

11th March 2024

Flexibility, agility, and resilience are the keywords of the new European project RISE-SME – Resilient Industry Supply Chain Enhancement for SMEs, featuring INESC TEC; this endeavour brings together partners from five European countries. The consortium will develop management models and promote partnerships between companies, leveraging the adoption of advanced technologies.

According to Ricardo Zimmermann, INESC TEC researcher, and regarding management models, “the idea is to develop a quantitative model that considers the specificities of each of the four industrial ecosystems. “INESC TEC will play a key role in identifying the weaknesses and critical dependencies of the supply chains of the four ecosystems addressed, especially those related to the use of technologies, as well as in defining management models adjusted to the specificities of each sector”, he said.

The INESC TEC team, together with the other groups involved in the project, will work on the comprehensive mapping of ecosystems and the identification of disturbances, risks and weaknesses associated with their activities. “We will define management models from this mapping, which will include ways to manage and measure the resilience of supply chains”, mentioned Ricardo Zimmermann, adding that from the methodologies developed for each ecosystem, a quantitative model will be created.

“This model will serve as a very relevant tool for SMEs, as it will enable them to detect and anticipate disruptions – current and future – in their supply chains”, he stated. In addition, the RISE-SME consortium will identify opportunities for SMEs to adopt advanced technologies, exploring possibilities for collaboration between companies. The adoption of advanced technologies will contribute to increasing the flexibility, agility, and resilience of supply chains.

“We aim to encourage strategic collaborations between SMEs with traditional business models, and tech-savvy SMEs, i.e., companies with innovative business models that develop, produce or market advanced technology; this will improve the supply chains’ ability to address and recover from unexpected events. Basically, we seek to create more robust and reliable industrial ecosystems that are also more competitive and sustainable, both from a social and environmental point of view”, explained Ricardo Zimmermann.

RISE-SME – Resilient Industry Supply Chain Enhancement for SMEs – is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon Europe Programme, with a duration of three years; it brings together nine partners from five European countries.