Project DBE - Digital Business Ecosystem

FP6 Integrated Project IST-2002-507953

Start Date: October 2003 - Duration: 39 months

DBE Documentation

Abstract

The project DBE is one of the four Integrated Project selected for funding as result of the call for project proposal FP6-2002-IST-1 under the FP6-IST workprogramme in the area of e-Business. DBE project has started November 2003, the initial duration is 3 years and will be co-funded for this initial period with 10'500'000 € from European Commission.

This is the first FP6 project which addresses "IST as driver for small business and government reorganisation through local development processes including small business ecosystems" and "multidisciplinary researches into complex adaptive and self-organising systems" within the strategic objective : 3.1.9 Networked Business and Governments" .

The two overarching objectives of the DBE project are to provide Europe with a recognised advantage in innovative software application development by its small and medium-sized enterprises (software producer SMEs) and to achieve greater information and communication technology (ICT) adoption by SMEs in general.

The DBE will achieve these objectives by adopting a multi-disciplinary approach based on biology, physics, business and social sciences mechanisms and models to develop an open-source distributed environment that can support the spontaneous evolution and composition of software services (with multiple licensing, revenue and business models, i.e. not necessarily open-source), components, and applications. DBE transposes mechanisms from living organisms like evolution, adaptation, autonomy, viability, introspection, knowledge sharing, and self-organisation, to arrive at novel architectures and technologies, business processes, and knowledge, thus creating a network of digital business ecosystems for SMEs and software providers to improve their value networks and foster local economic development.

Four areas of research encompassed by the DBE project are:

    1. ICT transfer and adoption, training, ethnography, etc.;
    2. business modelling;
    3. computer Science, Software Engineering and enabling technologies (web services, software agents, distributed architectures, ontologies, etc); and
    4. fundamental models (Maths, Physics, Biology, AI).

One of the outputs of the project is an opensource, component-based software infrastructure that will act as a commons to support the evolutionary optimisation of software services for SMEs. This digital infrastructure will fit the local cultural identities and socio-economic needs of SMEs to support their participation in regional and sectorial innovation clusters. The DBE will change the way SMEs and EU software providers use and distribute their products and services. It will allow SMEs to link enterprise-wide external resources and value networks, and to allocate them based on their business goals and priorities.

The DBE is based on the key finding that with such an evolutionary and self-organising system Europe could harness the complexity of software production and its SME software industry could regain competitiveness in the market, developing and customising software components produced by Smes at local level and fitting with the local identity. The availability of software solutions and services adapted to local needs (i.e. SMEs needs), should improve the ICT adoption from SMEs and improving their way of doing business and productivity.


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