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About

External research collaborator @ INESC TEC, Porto, PT

Postdoctoral researcher @ Solent University, Southamtpon, UK

PhD (2018) - Industrial Engineering and Management @ Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP)

The aim of my doctoral research was to study and design information management and collaborative network solutions to improve the support provided by industrial business associations to the internationalisation of SMEs, following a design science research approach.

MScEng (2012) - Industrial Engineering and Management @ University of Minho

My master's project was performed under the topic of lean management to analyse and reduce setup times of metal-mechanic machines of a manufacturing company.

My current research interests are: industry 4.0, advanced manufacturing technologies, design science research, digital platforms, collaborative networks, information management, industrial business associations, and SME internationalisation.

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Publications

2019

A brief overview of the use of collaborative robots in industry 4.0: Human role and safety

Authors
Bragança, S; Costa, E; Castellucci, I; Arezes, PM;

Publication
Studies in Systems, Decision and Control

Abstract
Industry 4.0 is a new industrial paradigm that brings new challenges for workers as they have to actively collaborate with robots in an interconnected environment. The main purpose of this paper is to give a brief overview of how collaborative robots can be used to support human workers in Industry 4.0 manufacturing environments. The use of collaborative robots certainly brings many advantages as these machines enable more efficient product systems by supporting workers with both physical and cognitive tasks, as is the case of exoskeletons. On the other hand, human–robot interaction might also have some risks if human factors considerations are not well thought through throughout the process. Moreover, it becomes clear that the role that humans have been playing so far in a manufacturing environment is rapidly changing. Human workers will have to adapt to these new systems by acquiring and improving a set of skills that have sometime been neglected until nowadays. © Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.

2018

Exploring the CIMO-Logic in the Design of Collaborative Networks Mediated by Digital Platforms

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; de Sousa, JP;

Publication
Collaborative Networks of Cognitive Systems - 19th IFIP WG 5.5 Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises, PRO-VE 2018, Cardiff, UK, September 17-19, 2018, Proceedings

Abstract

2018

On the Use of Digital Platforms to Support SME Internationalization in the Context of Industrial Business Associations

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; Pinho de Sousa, J;

Publication
Advances in Business Information Systems and Analytics - Handbook of Research on Expanding Business Opportunities With Information Systems and Analytics

Abstract
The digital economy is creating disruptions in traditional industries and markets. Industrial business associations (IBAs) may face serious challenges in a near future to meet the needs and requirements of their members, particularly in supporting their growing international trade activities and internationalization processes. Digital platforms are already transforming different types of businesses across all markets. An IBA may use a digital platform, not only to keep up with the current technological trends of markets, but also to improve the internationalization support provided to their associate small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Therefore, the aim of this chapter is to present the view of these potential digital platforms' managers, by presenting the results of an exploratory field research based on 24 interviews with IBAs from Portugal, France, and the UK. Another goal is to identify current digital platforms that are being used by IBAs and to critically evaluate their potential for supporting internationalization processes of SMEs. By using these findings, a set of requirements and features for digital platforms supporting SME internationalization in the context of IBAs are derived in this chapter. These results can be used by platform designers and by IBAs for designing and developing more effective digital platforms that can meet the specific internationalization needs of their users and managers.

2017

From Data Sources to Information Sharing in SME Collaborative Networks Supporting Internationalization: A Socio-Semantic Approach

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; de Sousa, JP;

Publication
Collaboration in a Data-Rich World - 18th IFIP WG 5.5 Working Conference on Virtual Enterprises, PRO-VE 2017, Vicenza, Italy, September 18-20, 2017, Proceedings

Abstract
Information is a crucial asset to successful internationalization, as it allows to reduce risks and uncertainty and to facilitate international expansion. Information about foreign markets and activities can be obtained by companies from internal or external sources, and in formal or informal ways. Industrial business associations (IBAs) are one of the external information sources. Due to their resource constraints, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) tend to highly depend on the services and information of IBAs to expand their business overseas. However, to improve their role in supporting SME internationalization, one important development is for IBAs to evolve towards more collaborative networks, by sharing more organized and valued information with their associates, but also by fostering information flows and more collaborations between them. This paper contributes to this view by synthetizing current data and information sources to support SME internationalization, based on a literature review, on interviews with Portuguese IBAs, and on expert opinion. An innovative aspect is to present a first instantiation of a socio-semantic model, opening paths for further developments in this area, and contributing to the community of Collaborative Networks. © IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2017.

2017

Institutional networks for supporting the internationalisation of SMEs: the case of industrial business associations

Authors
Costa, E; Soares, AL; de Sousa, JP;

Publication
JOURNAL OF BUSINESS & INDUSTRIAL MARKETING

Abstract
Purpose - This paper aims to study and explore the activities and the use of institutional network resources by industrial business associations (IBAs) to support and facilitate internationalisation processes of small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Other goals are to understand the internationalisation follow-up process and the future vision of IBAs to improve this internationalisation support. Design/methodology/approach - Based on empirical evidence and following an abductive approach, this paper presents a qualitative exploratory field research, providing insights from interviews performed with 20 IBAs based in Portugal. Findings - The findings suggest that the current institutional network support to internationalisation is mainly provided through promotional activities; counselling, training and technical and legal support; information sharing; and cooperation with other institutional entities. Each support category is explored and explained and a new conceptual model is developed to represent these findings. Regarding the internationalisation follow-up, IBAs provide a continuous support for the international operations by using some instruments and mechanisms to assist SMEs after an internationalisation initiative. Finally, collaboration and the use of new information technology are the main aspects to improve IBAs' support in a near future. Research limitations/implications - The qualitative methodological approach adopted in this work can imply a larger difficulty to obtain a generalisation of the findings. Another limitation is that the participating IBAs are based in only one country. Practical implications - Findings can help SMEs to understand the functioning and the benefits of using the institutional network resources of IBAs in overcoming their lack of resources to operate in international markets. IBAs can also understand their current position in terms of internationalisation support and think about new ways for improving this support. Originality/value - This paper contributes to a better understanding of the influence of institutional networks in SME internationalisation by exploring the specific role of one of the institutional actors rather than focusing on the institutional network as a whole. Therefore, this study details the current activities and uncovers other types of support provided by IBAs that are not based on export promotion programmes. New knowledge is also obtained about the specific information content, information sources and means and channels of information sharing used by IBAs for supporting SME internationalisation.