As part of the bi.smart project, we collaborate with 2 research institutes and 6 industry partners to develop research results and practical solutions for the integrated design of smart Product-Service Systems (sPSS).
When new products are developed, the focus is traditionally on technical innovations and their feasibility. Only in subsequent steps, complementary services (e.g., maintenance or financial services) are considered in the design process. This is often at a phase when the product innovation is already marketable. However, for smart, i.e. sensor-based and cloud-based services, which are increasingly supplementing or even replacing the business models of manufacturing companies, this approach is insufficient: Only if these services are already included in the early innovation and design process, the necessary sensor technology of smart products can be taken into account during the early design stage. Due to a currently strong product-centric focus in the development process, data-based services are mostly developed based on existing, easily accessible data. However, customer needs are not sufficiently taken into account. With our joint project bi.smart, we aim to initiate a change of perspective regarding the development of such technical systems, so that the customer's needs and the novel potentials of smart services can have a more substantial impact within the design process and on the value proposition of the overall system. Thereby, we want to enable companies to develop their traditional products into sPSS.
The joint project bi.smart aims to enable small and medium-sized companies in Germany to evolve their development and design processes in order to develop advanced smart product-service systems. For this purpose, we will design a dynamic process model for sPSS, which will be evaluated and iteratively developed based on five pilot projects. Moreover, little understood, and insufficiently researched process steps and essential capabilities will be worked up in formats suitable for practical use. The results will be implemented and provided in an interactive web application, the SMARTSYSTEM Launchpad, which allows companies to specifically build up competences regarding digitalization in the R&D area.
Within the joint project bi.smart, we as the KIT focus on the development of methods for building competencies for the customer-centric development of smart product-service systems as well as corresponding business models. In addition, we will derive strategies for inter-organizational collaboration in a business ecosystem and data exchange in the context of smart product-service systems.
The joint project bi.smart is funded by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) within the measure "Beherrschung der Komplexität soziotechnischer Systeme – ein Beitrag zum Advanced Systems Engineering für die Wertschöpfung von morgen" as part of the program "Innovationen für die Produktion, Dienstleistung und Arbeit von morgen".