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Advanced Services for Sustainability and Growth: Spring Servitization Conference 2020

This week, we concluded the 10th Spring #Servitization Conference (SSC), with a focus on sustainability and growth through advanced services. Our initial plan was to bring back the conference to Birmingham, where it all began, but as you are fully aware, global developments high-jacked out plans so we postponed the event and moved SSC to a virtual event.

We have all had our share of virtual meetings, digital teaching and learning, and online socials. Though, we wanted this conference to be much more than a series of webinars and worked hard to find a suitable solution. So, we partnered with vFairs to deliver a conference environment, complete with lobby, auditoriums, exhibition hall and networking facilities. Quite simply, we wanted to create an experience that is as close as possible to a physical event - but without the need for people to travel and physically attend.

Virtual events, in general, can easily lose one of the best benefits of live events: human connection, but we tried very hard to mitigate this by engaging and getting the audience involved. Overall, we managed to cover 30+ presentations and host 80+ leading academics from all over the world. Lots of new ideas and avenues were discussed on how to further develop the research on servitization. It is clear that we need more research on both financial and environmental sustainability aspects of advanced services as well as understanding servitization in the SME context

At the closing session, I had the privilege to announce the winners of the best paper awards for this year, which went to: 

  • Tuomas Huikkola, Marko Kohtamäki, Rodrigo Rabetino, Hannu Makkonen, and Philipp Holtkamp (Paper title: Solution providers microfoundations in the development of product service innovations)

  • Zsófia Tóth, Christian Kowalkowski, Alexey Sklyar, David Sörhammar, Bård Tronvoll, and Oliver Wirths (Paper title: A paradox theory approach to tensions in digital servitization: the case of the aerospace and Maritime industries)

  • Khadijeh Momeni, Eija Vaittinen, Markus Jahi, and Miia Martinsuo (Paper title: Service confidence in bringing new data-enabled services to market: a multi-actor perspective).

  • Eduardo Castellano and Urko Lopez Odriozola (Paper title: A servitization roadmap for Basque manufacturing SME).

  • Anna Norinder, Arni Halldorsson, and Ceren Altuntas Vural (Paper title: Advancing waste collection logistics services for increased energy efficiency and circularity). 

The conference proceedings is available to download from: [Open Access until 14th October 2020]

The conference this year was different compared to the previous years, not just because it went virtual, but more importantly it took place together with the first World Servitization Convention, that attracted a great number of executives and middle management, all engaged in the organisational transformation towards servitization. So, in parallel with the research track (SSC), the industry track hosted more than 19 keynote talks, 6 roundtables, 3 panel discussions and 28 exhibition booths from leading manufacturing companies engaged with advanced services.

All being well, we are planning to take the 2021 Spring Servitization Conference to Florence next Spring for a (hopefully) face-to-face conference!


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