A fundamental shift is occurring in many industries away from the selling of products (e.g. cars) to the provision of services (e.g. transport, car leasing). Essential to the long-term success of businesses in this emerging global environment is the creation of new Integrated Products And Services (IPAS). These require knowledge transfer between three very different worlds: new service design, new product design, and the operation of existing products and services in the field. IPAS will integrate and apply a number of disparate generic technologies that are currently in the research phase and span the disciplines of computer science, engineering design, knowledge management, manufacturing and work psychology. IPAS will significantly improve these generic technologies, which are critical to the effective exploitation of intra and inter-enterprise computing, and validate them by application to a complex real world challenge. IPAS deliverables include: a Designer Knowledge Desktop, defined work social issues and solutions, process simulations and optimisation, and a life cycle cost modelling toolkit.
The IPAS project is funded by Department of Trade and Industry under the Technology Program. It involves 11 academic and industrial partners. One of the industrial partners is Rolls-Royce, who is also the target client of this project. The focus of the Southampton AKT team is to deliver a semantic-aware and ontology driven middleware for the designer knowledge desktop. Our work on this project started in October 2005, and will last for 3 years.