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Project Title:

Methodology and Tools for World-best Introduction of Innovative Market Mediation System and Services in Traditional SMEs

Project Reference:


Project Website:


Start Date: 2000-01-01 End Date: 2002-03-31

In new global scenario companies will conduct their activity in the context of the e-Economy, fostering companies to develop the capability to exchange value electronically, including goods, services, information and money. But it is not enough a technology capability, it is required to re-engineer processes, train re-skilled workforce, and a new strategic intent to manage the company business in a very different and much improved manner, based on MEDIATION SYSTEMS (e-Commerce, e-Work, e-mail, communications…). The e-Economy represents both a significant threat and a significant opportunity. For those organisations born in the industrial economy, the e-Economy represents a significant challenge to their underlying business assumptions, their business models, their value propositions and sources of competitive advantage. For those organisations willing to take deliberate action now to transition to the e-Economy, the e-Economy represents an opportunity to realize new levels of business efficiency and to create compelling new value propositions. To maintain their competitiveness on the market, SMEs have to apply innovative market mediation systems enabling new types of trade and creating new types of services. A high number of SMEs are still not able to effectively introduce advanced solutions based on custom made internet systems to offer and sell products and services. In front of this situation, MEDIAT-SME has foreseen a need/opportunity for a methodology and a tools set that help mediation systems introduction in SMEs reducing the efforts required and minimising the risk.


The project's objective is to develop and verify an innovative and practicable methodology and set of tools to analyse the company's requirements, to specify, design, select and implement adequate ICT solutions for mediation systems based on custom made internet systems for new types of trade and creating new types of services in traditional SMEs.
The new methodology will bring benefits to end-users (SMEs) by savings in efforts/costs for the introduction of new mediation systems by a minimum of 40% and a reduction of risks by a minimum of 80%. This will require considerable R&D activities related to efficient modelling of business processes, methods for assessment of the needs of different customer classes, identification of new services and development of building block library covering at least 50-70% of the needs of SMEs. To ensure that the developed methods and tools achieve the specified objectives the methodology will be tested at 4 SMEs from 3 different countries and 3 different industrial sectors.

Description of Work:

The methodology and tools to be developed will cover several life cycle phases of the introduction of new mediation systems and services, starting from the analysis of the needs of the SMEs and their customers, specification of the requirements on the new mediation systems and design of the new services, including the design of the corresponding workplaces and definition of the appropriate working methods and organisation, up to the implementation phases.
The new methodology has to fulfil high requirements w.r.t. to efficiency, learnability, traceability, applicabality in different industrial sectors and European regions.
The project will require considerable R&D activities related to the efficient modelling of business processes to be integrated, methods for the assessment of the needs of different customer classes and the identification of new services, development of building block library covering at least 50-70% of the needs of traditional SMEs in different countries and sectors etc. Therefore, the project includes 4 R&D partners with long-term experience in these research fields. In order to minimise the risks of achieving these ambitious objectives, the development of the methods and tools will be based on the enhancement of existing methods & tools. To ensure that the methods and tools to be developed are achieving the specified objectives of the methodology will be tested within the four SMEs from three different countries and three different industrial sectors. This will include prototyping and testing of the new mediation systems and services within the real working environment at these pilot SMEs, serving as show cases of the world's best approaches for introduction of innovative mediation systems in traditional SMEs. This will enable an efficient dissemination of the project results.


INESC Porto - Instituto de Engenharia de Sistemas e Computadores do Porto

Contact Person:


Contact Information:

Address: Largo de Mompiller 22, apartado 4433
Postcode: 4050-392
City: Porto
Region: CONTINENTE NORTE Grande Porto
Tel: +351-2-22094008
Fax: +351-2-22058692
email: mbarbas@inescporto.pt

Other Partners:
  • Schroeder Bauzentrum Gmbh & Co. Kg
  • Servicios Informaticos Visualnet Sa
  • Institut fuer Angewandte Systemtechnik Bremen Gmbh
  • British Maritime Technology Limited
  • Lima & Resende Lda
  • Kloeckner Desma Schumaschinen Gmbh
  • Consultores de Automatica y Robotica Sa