Led by Bob Young (Loughborough University)

FLEXINET is a European Union Seventh Framework Programme FP7-2013-NMP-ICT-FOF (RTD) project funded under grant agreement no 608627, which started on 1 July 2013 and finished at the end of June 2016. The project has investigated the feasibility of providing software services to support decision makers in configuration and especially rapid reconfiguration of Global Production Networks. With end-user partners from diverse manufacturing sectors … consumer white goods, industrial pumps, and food products … FLEXINET was grounded in real user requirements for development of new product-services, and the production networks needed to deliver these competitively. FLEXINET has developed a prototype software platform that provides the three key capabilities needed to support rapid, effective, high quality decision-making for business innovation. These being the provision of access to the right people, access to the right information and access to appropriate analysis tools. The current analysis tools encompass idea management and product-service configuration; network configuration and analysis; business model development and risk assessment.  These are all built on a novel formal ontology based knowledge environment that can draw in knowledge related to global social, technological, economic, environmental and political (STEEP) factors; relevant global supplier knowledge; company business rules; and legacy data.

The FLEXINET partners are now actively pursuing the formation of a Community Group within the INTEROP-VLab in order to support the development the Technology Readiness Level of the platform from its current TRL5. The goal is to create a consortium constituted as a Community Group (CG) within the INTEROP-VLab AISBL, to continue development, integration and evaluation of software assets arising from the FLEXINET project. These activities will be directed towards the realisation of commercially exploitable implementations of these software assets.