Call for papers

Contributions are invited from a wide range of disciplines, both from the Engineering/science and the Managerial/Socio-Human communities, including: industrial engineering, computer science, manufacturing, organization science, logistics, managerial and social sciences, and the above mentioned 4.0 sectors, which are well tuned to fuel both the interdisciplinary nature of the research and development on Collaborative Networks, as well as the multidisciplinary networking spirit of the PRO-VE Working Conferences.



  • Artificial Intelligence and digital transformation for collaborative models, platforms and systems
  • Smart & collaborative product-service systems
  • Distributed cognition in collaborative systems
  • Business ecosystems and collaboration in Industry 4.0
  • Collaborative and sustainable business models for production systems
  • Cloud-based manufacturing
  • Manufacturing as a collaborative Service (MaaS)
  • Cyber-physical systems and their applications in collaborative network 4.0
  • Collaborative e-services for sustainable networks
  • Value co-creation processes
  • Hybridization of collaboration – organizations, people, machines, systems
  • Skills, competencies and human factors in the digital transition
  • Agility, resilience and sustainability of networked organization
  • Risks, performance, and disruptions in collaborative networked systems
  • Agile business models and value networks
  • Value creation and social impact of collaborative networks
  • Monetization of collaboration
  • Collaboration for circular economy and sustainable industrial systems
  • Collaborative healthcare networks; Resilience and collaboration for health systems
  • Digitalized and collaborative logistics and transportation networks
  • Smart and resilient supply, production, or distribution networks
  • Collective intelligence and collaboration in advanced/emerging applications
  • Big data analytics for distributed and collaborative intelligence
  • Semantic data/service discovery, retrieval, and composition, in a collaborative networked world
  • Ontologies for collaborative networks
  • Ethics, trust, culture of collaboration and sustainability in CNs
  • Open application fields:
    • Collaborative manufacturing and factories of the future
    • e-health and care
    • Food, agribusiness, agriculture 4.0
    • Crisis and disaster management
    • Digital supply chains
    • Collaborative e-government
    • Mobility networks
    • Urban logistics and smart cities
    • Collaborative energy systems


Abstract Submission
Now !

Special Session Submission
February 29, 2021

Full paper submission
April 16, 2021
! Extension, April 30st, 2021 !

Acceptance notification
May 31, 2021

Camera ready copy
June 20, 2021


Call For Papers for Industrial Workshop

The ambition of the workshop is to bring together industrials and academics to put forth collaborative challenges for industrial research, to provide evidence of various forms of collaborative research programs and to boost the emergence of new collaboration opportunities. This workshop aims first to focus on challenges, needs and expected values of all stakeholders who are concerned or impacted by such challenges. It is second to make an overview of past and current R&D works, being both theories or application case oriented, and to focus on collaboration projects involving academic and industrial partners who take care about these challenges. The goal of the workshop is then to promote new ideas, principles and to launch new collaborations between participants to converge towards smart and sustainable networks.


Special Sessions validated for PRO-VE 2021             


Data conceptualisation & interoperability

Systems integration, cooperative communication and information processing technologies for enterprise operation represent some key focus in the new global market. These issues are closely intertwined to information processing and distributed information systems, where the knowledge technologies play a major role. This evolution context brings about the concept of smart services as next-generation services provided via all the possible technological channels but, at the same time, the challenge of a different vision of manufacturing operation and management.
The Factory of the Future (FoF) revolution, deeply related to the Industry 4.0, is thus focused on developing a smart physical environment where the production is interlaced with knowledge: matter and information as two faces of the same medal. It is the current trends of automation and data exchanges in manufacturing technologies that include development of cyber-physical systems, cognitive computing, cloud computing, Internet of Things among the most known technologies. The development of knowledge sharing for manufacturing operation led to important results in various domains practices: the development of accuracy and transparency in several industrial sectors, particularly the agricultural and transport industries. Simultaneously, other new challenges are arising and becoming subjects of research: the key necessity to enable data exchanges in the business ecosystem and the need to invest in new physical infrastructure and tools. In collaborative and cooperative environments, the enterprises have been exploring several aspects of their processes and services to determine which ones can be better managed through ICTs. Nowadays, these services are also facing the need of  integrating physical and virtual objects through the exploitation of data capture and communication capabilities. To overcome challenges related to acquisition and analysis of a large amount of data, the Data Fusion strategy has gained focus as a data pre-processing phase to support the fast-growing dataintensive applications for collaborative enterprises network. FoF is using advanced technologies such as networking sensors, smart devices, sensing machines, robots, GPS technology which will allow enterprises to be more profitable, efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly. This impulse is completely towards the development of cooperative services and applications in the context of collaborative networks. These innovative services have to meet the requirements of a high degree of autonomous data capture, event transfer, network connectivity and interoperability as a support of the physical transformations. In order to optimise their knowledge processes and services, enterprise networks use acquired and innovative technologies, such as wireless network, remote sensor data acquisition, mobile information technology, services and processes architectures managing the operations of the enterprise network systems. Based on innovative services, this requires the conceptualisation and the formalisation of the models and methods that generalise proposed services in every heterogeneous system.

In an increasingly complex and dynamic environment, companies must collaborate to be more competitive. To do so, these companies must exchange data and information to develop investigative problem-solving approaches. These data or ontologies can be used for example for simulation, testing resolution approaches, etc. Therefore, it is necessary to specify how we envisage ontologies, what characteristics are required, what is the degree of reliability of the proposed ontology about the problems to be treated. The goal is to highlight cutting-edge research on sharing knowledge and ontologies. The session welcomes research works on this perspective for complex manufacturing processes as semiconductor manufacturing, Health Care Systems, and Services… 

Industrial collaborative networks are characterised by heterogenous business capabilities, business processes, products and data structures. Sustainable systems interoperability represents one of the key challenge to support the development and the integration of new smart, digital and virtual assets in collaborative networks.
The digital transformation of product, systems and business models brings new paradigms and requirements for value cocreation in industry. Scientific initiatives dealing with digitalisation propose innovation concepts for IoT and data analysis, cognitive systems, production resources smartification, security and resilience, etc. The integration of new cyber and physical assets in industry requires the development of innovative interoperability enablers implementing model-driven engineering, semantic and security concepts to enable the communication between cyber and physical systems. The emergence of IoT and CPS concepts in industry contributes to build innovative smart manufacturing systems, effective control processes, innovative maintenance processes, etc.
The session aims to attract original scientific papers dealing with interoperability in industrial digital transformation with impact in manufacturing, quality control and maintenance.

Digital ecosystems & Business Models

In a context where collaborative networks constitute the realistic future of the dynamics of human societies (economically, socially and culturally), the engineering and the management of these collaborative networks appears to be a major concern.
The notion of immersion already plays a major role in this concern. Of course, virtual, augmented or mixed realities are the first obvious components of this ambition, but other approaches involving artificial intelligence, simulation or data visualization can contribute to improving the design or management of tomorrow's collaborative networks.
This special session aims at providing a vision about current contributions on the combination of “Immersion” and “Artificial Intelligence” for the management of response networks in various application domains (as Security, Supply-Chain, Health, Cities and Nations, Industry, etc.).

This special session expects submissions regarding actual results about fundamental or applied research works on immersive management of response networks, but also strongly encourages submissions about innovative early works and visionary proposals.

Any business begins with value creation as it is the purpose of an organisation. Too often in business, we consider the value in its monetary form, this is a reductive approach and misses the complexities, ambiguities and paradoxes associated with value co-creation and value co-delivery in our interconnected worlds. 
Service science, particularly Service-Dominant logic provides a useful set of axioms and foundational premises that can help support our value co-creation within digitally enabled ecosystems, particularly when digital can be used to orchestrate or enable value co-creation through new institutional arrangements. It is nevertheless not the only way to understand value and value co-creation in today’s emerging digitally enabled ecosystems and others from other disciplines from engineering and social science provide approaches that allow us to explore and measure value co-creation.
We want to explore methodologies, managerial frameworks ,approaches, case studies, and results from value creation efforts when moving towards digitally connected ecosystems. A mix of theoretical studies and applied cases would allow us to move forward in establishing research based best practices for value co-creation. In particular we are looking for papers that considers value co-creation:  methods, managerial frameworks, indicator systems, industrial case studies, best practices.

For the past decade, driven by the rise of the Industry 4.0 momentum, digitalization and servitization research streams have converged in a large amount of research on Product-Service Systems (PSS). With the prominence of digital technologies, the bundling of products and services has become smarter and smarter along their entire life cycle, evolving towards the smart PSS concept. From product/service concept to manufacturing, sale, utilization, and disposal, the adoption of data-driven, connected technologies brings into the value-chain more and more stakeholders capable of consuming and generating value. This new generation of smart PSS brings with it, however, new socio-technical challenges and opportunities along the entire value chain.
Recent works have pointed to a research agenda that focuses on engineering challenges for the evolution and validation of the Smart PSS concepts and capabilities, managerial challenges for the fitting of organizations strategies and processes into the PSS model, and conceptual challenges for the consolidation of theoretical background. This special session focuses on the collaborative impact on the first two challenges to gather advance research regarding (1) the engineering, design, and implementation of Smart PSS supporting the digitalization and servitization paradigms in value chains, as well as (2) the socio-technical aspects involved in the transformation of business models and processes, uncertainty and risk management, and data and life cycle management.

The digital age has given rise to disruptions in practically all business models, as well as for collaborative networks perspective, especially by employing blockchain technology, which is considered disruptive and cutting-edge technology. One of the blockchain's key characteristics is related to a decentralized model that a central intermediary is no more needed to validate the transactions. Additionally, the transactions use cryptographic techniques that cannot permit its modification. Consequently, blockchain is known as a tamper-proof technology that is already remodeling the organization's traditional business models and collaborative networks.
In that regard, blockchain technologies promise to disrupt traditional business models, comprising all the operations journey, by enabling and improving traceability, supply chain visibility, transparency, information sharing, accountability, cooperation, trust, transaction costs minimization, etc. The blockchain integration with the smart collaborative networks is still developing, and the extant literature on this interplay is scarce. This Special Session aims to unlock and shed light on  the blockchain applications in smart collaborative networks. Thus, we are interested in empirical papers that bring substantial managerial and theoretical contributions, considering performance, the value created, and competitive advantage supported by blockchain. The methodologies comprise mainly empirical approaches (surveys, case studies, and mixed-methods).

Collaboration for Health

The spread of covid-19 pandemic, in association with health-related trends as aging of population, rise of chronic diseases, increase of concerns for healing treatments, demonstrated that healthcare systems are at stake if they do not enhance innovative approaches to face them. There is the need to identify and promote a widespread adoption of collaborative behaviours and practices among stakeholders, supported by proper digital tools. More than ever, a smart and sustained decisionmaking in health-related issues requires to be able to leverage the increasing availability of data, and properly elicit the knowledge deriving from them. Data on patients, drugs, diets, actors involved in operating processes, can be collected thanks to several solutions (e.g. sensors, health applications and Electronic Health Records), stored and elicited (e.g. in AI-based applications), further elaborated towards new knowledge to support operational and strategic decisions (e.g. by Decision Support Systems). The digital transformation of decision-making in healthcare system has to be driven also by a systematic involvement of multiple kinds of stakeholders, both from public and private sectors, into collaborative networks. Proper protocols should be defined to regulate the access to data while stimulating the creation of knowledge for a sustainable improvement of healthcare systems. This special session welcomes theoretical and empirical studies that advance research on the different opportunities, supporting tools and stakeholder engagement practices for digitally-enabled and collaborative decision-making in healthcare.

Healthcare systems are evolving in order to face the numerous challenges related to population aging and to the increase of follow-up of patients with multimorbidities or chronic diseases conditions. New information and communication technologies are available to strengthen the link between health professionals working in collaborative networks (general practitioners, specialists, pharmacists...) and patients outside of medical care centres to accompany their care pathway. Increasing availability of health data is a gold mine and speeds up the development of the personalized care approach. However, technological innovations are not sufficient. A good organization with all actors of the care pathway is essential to maximize the impact of such devices. Sustainability and collaboration is required to optimize care organization and therefore improve the quality of life of patients.
This special session intends to gather advance research regarding the development of methods and tools to provide smart and sustainable collaborative healthcare networks to optimize care organization in the context of Silver Economy. It focuses in particular on accompanying elderly persons eventually affected with chronical diseases with the objective of delaying dependency states using adequate new information and communication technologies and proper protocols of care.


Education, learning and transfer for Industry of the future

The implementation in the factories of the future of the concepts related to digital technologies, including Internet of Things, Cyber Physical Systems, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Smart manufacturing, Computer vision, Collaborative work from multiple perspectives and collaborative innovation bring a lot of added-values contributing to the 4th industrial revolution. Factories of the Future (FoF) aim at clear performance increases (improved efficiency; increased productivity, flexibility, agility and machine availability; low production cost; lower IoT security risks, etc.), while inducing an in-depth transformation of skills and competencies (New digital skills, Increase of workers competence levels, Higher expertise on data security, New capabilities on big data and artificial intelligence) which contributes to a profound transformation of industrial business model. To support such transformation, knowledge transfer from Education Institutions towards industrial companies is essential. Mediated by the High Education Institution study programs and digital ecosystems advances, digital platforms like OMILAB laboratories have the roles to teach and train the collaborative work of human-robot-teams to successful tackle transfer of knowledge and change of skills to support factories of the future innovations. The objective of this session is to gather a set of international papers which highlights both digital FoF platforms and educational efforts and technological solutions for overcoming the Industry 4.0 challenges.

Technological progress and its rapid evolution have positively affected not only the industry sector but also different productive/service sectors that have been benefited the most, such as Education. In recent years, the term "Education 4.0" has been assigned high relevance by different authors who have conceptualized it according to the well-known four industrial revolutions periods. The 4.0 technologies combined with pedagogical procedures have taken on great relevance in today's academic practices, and its development has been accelerated in the last year due to the global pandemic. Therefore, new initiatives and projects in educational innovation have been emerged to respond to the current challenges in education that are not just limited to academic and social issues but also are related to the need to develop essential competencies in today's students, encouraging them to grow technically, technologically, analytically, and with the ability to think critically. This opens opportunities for Collaborative Networks and Open Innovation initiatives not only to share knowledge, resources, joining complementary skills, capacities, and responsibilities but also to create initiatives for distance education in global environments.
This Special Session aims to provide a vision about current contributions and implementations on the combination of 4.0 technologies with pedagogical procedures. This session welcomes submissions regarding research works on this perspective, including approaches in best practices, methods, methodologies, design & development of new products/technologies/platforms/services, case studies, and experiences.

Currently, understanding the scope and potential of digital technologies in the context of their application and use in specific businesses and industries is not at all an effortless task. Therefore, and considering the rapid technology evolution, manufacturing personnel and leadership's skills and competencies must evolve more frequently. Consequently, it is necessary to promote the upskilling and reskilling of their workforce through hands-on experience on industry 4.0 technologies. Thus, new infrastructures need to be developed for technology experience and demonstration based on the living labs, innovation labs, and fab labs concepts. The collaboration between the different actors involved, academia, applied research centres, technological centres and industry, appears as the effective formula in a dynamic teaching-learning process, evolutive and fundamentally adapted to different contexts of transforming industries. It results in a natural opportunity to explore collaborative networks, involving different actors and covering in a vertical way the whole learning chain, from fundamentals and theoretical concepts to experimentation in laboratory environment and experimentation in real environment (in learning factories and in industrial lines and pilots). In this special session, we aim to highlight the critical role of collaborative networks to promote a rich learning environment between industry and academia. Moreover, must be explored the types and nature of collaborative learning that can be provided to companies to address the digitization challenges in order i) to reduce the mismatch between the qualification of the available workforce and the changes in industrial demands, ii) to increase the availability of skilled and qualified workforces and engineers, and iii) to improve the awareness of the importance of effective technical education of all hierarchical levels. This special session welcomes studies (empirical and theoretical) that advance research on educational frameworks/schemes, supporting tools, and collaborative practices between academia and industry to facilitate collaborative learning. Real application and demonstration cases are also welcome, describing the methodology used to define, analyse and evaluate the educational objectives and success.

To keep pace with digital transformation, many companies are looking for competence centres to support them through the digitization process. In Europe, Digital Innovation Hubs (DIHs) support industrial companies – particularly SMEs - with piloting, testing and experimenting with digital innovations, as well as with business and financing services to implement these innovations. DIHs are multi-partner networks encompassing universities, RTOs, Industrial associations, Incubator/accelerators, government agencies, among others, which are able to provide industry with access to high-level knowledge, expertise and technology. This complex, multi-layered arrangement represents an open field of research, since there are many gaps and opportunities that need to be discussed to improve the role of DIH as digital transformation drivers. In fact, DIHs can provide virtual breeding environments where smart and sustainable collaborative networks develop through agile and sustainable systems and business models. This environment lead to more ecological value chains, based on circular and collaborative economy. 
The objective of this session is to shed light on the role of DIHs to support industry’s Digital Transformation process and to discuss how smart and sustainable collaborative networks theoretical and practical approaches can contribute for the creation and operation of DIHs. Consequently, we are interested in empirical studies with managerial and theoretical contributions to DIH operations and supporting tools, addressing either the DIH or SMEs perspective. We are also interested in articles with comparative studies, analysing the characteristics of DIHs operations in countries with different innovation levels (according to the European Innovation Scoreboard).

In the 4th industrial revolution age, many digital technologies are offered to companies (Industrial IoT, Automation & Robotics, Big Data & Analytics, Cloud computing, Smart & Cloud manufacturing, Smart product, Computer vision, etc.). Companies try to follow the move because they are aware of digitalization benefits and surrounded by partners that ask them to digitize. However, due to the multitude of digital technologies and the efforts to spend when deploying new technology, companies struggle to know how far to go in digitalization and when such a process should be done by themselves or through external partnerships. Companies, and particularly SMEs who have limited resources, are lost: they don't know where to go since that digitalization costs, requires efforts to deploy changes in work practices, and has sustainability impacts. The literature has shown that they can also engage in SMEs ecosystems to better cope with such challenges. However, even then, they may not know how to engage, why to engage, and with whom to engage for the digital transformation. What could be a feasible digitalization for a SME to meet the requirements of its collaborative network while reducing deployment efforts and sustainability impacts? Considered SMEs can be the central company of the network or supporting large companies within the network. The session aims to explore approaches, case studies and results from digitalization efforts when moving towards digital enterprises’ networks.



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