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Digivation: Passau team develops construction kit and decision aid for digital services

Digivation: Passau team develops construction kit and decision aid for digital servicesDigivation: Passau team develops construction kit and decision aid for digital services

The 'Digivation' project unites an interdisciplinary team from Passau, Paderborn and Aachen, who work on innovative concepts to accelerate the digital transformation process of German small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is providing EUR 1.5 million in funding.

The digital transformation is the growth and innovation engine par excellence. Nevertheless, German SMEs have only partly begun to exploit the potentials that digitalisation offers. For this reason the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research is funding the Digivation project of the universities of Passau and Paderborn and the Institute for Industrial Management (FIR) of RWTH Aachen under the research programme 'Innovationen für die Arbeit von morgen - Forschung für Produktion und Dienstleistung der Zukunft' (German page; the programme title roughly translates as 'innovations for tomorrow's manufacturing, services and workplaces'; project number: 02K14A222). Digivation combines digital process innovation with novel concepts for the development of digital services; the intention behind this is to facilitate and quicken the digital transformation of business enterprises. The picture shows the project group with University of Passau's Professor Jan H. Schumann (back row, second from the right) and Professor Daniel Beverungen (first from the right) of the University of Paderborn at the inaugural meeting in Paderborn.

Policy recommendations for decision-makers in politics, business and society

SMEs increasingly have to ask themselves how they can deploy digital processes within their value chains to ensure that they can continue to meet the growing and changing demands of their customers. Global competitive pressure and new business models are what drives the digital transformation. 'Digital services become widely accepted when companies integrate their customers in the innovation process and adapt their services to the identified customer needs. Digital services offer a particularly strong potential for offering tailored offers to different customer groups', explained Professor Jan H. Schumann, who holds the Chair of Marketing and Innovation at the University of Passau. 'The Digivation project has at its aim the development of general and actionable policy recommendations concerning successful customer integration, the development of new digital services and their subsequent individualisation.' Over a period of three years, the project will generate specific findings on the relationship between digital service innovation and digitalisation of companies and society in general as well as the preconditions that must exist for this relationship to exist. The outcome of this will be hands-on recommendations for the implementation of digital transformation and policy recommendations for decision-makers in politics, businesses and society.

Individualisation of digital services

In a sub-project, the Passau team – consisting of Professor Schumann, Franziska M. Bongers and Corinna Winkler – will develop a construction kit containing methods which can be used to involve the customer base in the development of digital services. The requirements identified during customer integration will, furthermore, provide the input needed to tailor the digital services to each customer. To facilitate this process, the team will create a 'decision aid'.

Project linked with 20 consortium projects

Digivation supports and links up with more than 20 consortium projects from the BMBF's funding line 'Dienstleistungsinnovation durch Digitalisierung' ('service innovation through digitalisation'); the project unites the research perspectives of marketing, information systems and engineering. Moreover, Digivation is carried out in co-operation with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Lower Bavaria, Unity AG, CrowdConsultants 360 GmbH and MHP GmbH to ensure that this new research is readily usable by SMEs.

Principal Investigator(s) at the University Prof. Dr. Jan Hendrik Schumann (Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre mit Schwerpunkt Marketing und Innovation)
Project period 01.12.2016 - 30.11.2019
Source of funding
BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung
BMBF - Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung

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