Our projects and activities

Do you have an idea for a project? Do you have references to articles or books that belongs here? Feel free to share with Isabel Ramos and Niels Garmann-Johnsen!

Our activities in 2021/2022

VOIL, Virtual Open Innovation Lab, see voil.eu, Virtual Open Innovation Lab | (voil.eu) "Be prepared", see Home | SMEs: Be prepared for supply chain risks! (beprepared-project.eu), and the Summer school 2022, see Research Summer School - Hochschule RheinMain (hs-rm.de) are among the many activities in the last two years (by 2022), suited for building knowledge on helping SMEs in their digital transformations, and at the same time train students for worklife practice! Mail us (adress above) on more activities to be included here!

Our activities in 2020

Digital transformation has been defined as the integration of digital technology into all areas of business leading to fundamental changes in operations and value creation to customers. It requires a cultural change towards a continuous challenging of the status quo, proactively promoting the adoption of new practices and the continuous adjustment to turbulent, uncertain markets. Digital transformation can be a double-edged sword, both solving old problems and creating new problems. It is particularly demanding for small firms due to their general lack of resources. SMEs make up most of the economy in terms of value creation and number of employees and are therefore critical to the economic development of the modern societies. It is therefore imperative that SMEs can innovate and transform using new technology. This Competence Center wants to be a leading knowledge hub for academia and industry in this endeavour.

The Digital Transformation in SMEs Competence Center (DT in SMEs CC) is a joint effort of several ERCIS institutional members, namely University of Agder, University of Luleå, University of Münster, University of Turku, University of Twente, University of Minho, Wroclaw University of Science and Technology. The Competence Center aims at encouraging research and providing expertise on the digital transformation of SMEs.


Seminar: Sociotechnical approaches in the IS Discipline

February 20 – 21, 2020, Porto, Portugal

Professor Suprateek Sarker - University of Virginia's McIntire School of Commerce

The Seminar “Sociotechnical approaches in the IS Discipline” aims to train junior researchers in the social and technical components that characterize the phenomena researched in the Information Systems discipline as well as the role of sociotechnical approaches in the development of research in this discipline. Participants in the seminar will be invited to analyze their research in the light of socio-technical principles.

Within the socio-technical approach, the qualitative research of the phenomena relevant to the Information Systems discipline will be discussed. This presentation will aim to promote understanding of the role played by qualitative research in the IS discipline. The seminar will focus in particular on interpretive case studies and ethnographic studies, highlighting their specificities. Participants will be encouraged to reflect on the challenges associated with writing and publishing these studies by analyzing and discussing high-quality papers.

The seminar was intended for researchers and PhD students in Information Systems. The seminar brought together participants from several universities in Portugal, including UMINHO, as well as from University of Münster and Università degli Studi della Tuscia.


Submitted in 2020:

ERASMUS+ KA202 "SMEs: Be prepared for supply chain risks!". Resubmission of a previously submitted project called “AwarenesS Training for supply chain RISKs in SMEs”.  APPROVED! The ERCIS Members involved were Alessio Braccini - Universita Degli Studi Della Tuscia (IT), University of Minho (PT), Tallinn University of Technology (EE)

ERASMUS+ KA203 “Integrating virtual and AUGMENTED reality with WEARable technology into engineering EDUcation” – AugmentedWearEdu's main goal is to introduce a novel framework for e-Learning to integrate low-cost off-the-shelf commercial (COTS) VR/AR tools and haptic wearables to enable digital access to laboratories in higher education. APPRIOVED! The ERCIS members involved are Universitetet I Agder (NO - coordinator), Kauno Technologijos Universitetas (LT), University of Minho (PT).

H2020-SwafS-2018-2020 “Open Science For the digital transfOrmation of Circular bUSinEss moDels. FOCUSED aims to put citizens’ concerns at the heart of the research agenda on circular economy by tackling issues that concern them. NOT APPROVED – RESUBMISSION EXPECTED FOR NEXT YEAR

The ERCIS members involved are University of Minho (PT - coordinator), Tallinn University of Technology (EE), Alessio Braccini - Universita Degli Studi Della Tuscia(IT).

Being carried out in 2020:

Virtual Open Innovation Lab (VOIL) – ERASMUS +: KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education. The project aims at developing a curriculum to guide the learning of emerging technologies and assess their potential for innovating and digitally transform Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - SMEs.

The participating ERCIS members are WWU, UMINHO, KTU and UiA.

Intellectual Outputs in their almost final stage: O1 Digital transformation toolkit, O2 Digital transformation curriculum, and O3 Simulation Resource Pack.


North, K., Hermann, A.  Ramos, I. Aramburu, N., Gudoniene. D. (2020): The VOIL Digital Transformation Competence Framework. Evaluation and Design of Higher Education Curricula. In:  Lopata, A., Butkienė, R., Gudonienė, D., Sukackė, V. (Eds.)  Information and Software Technologies, 26th International Conference, ICIST 2020, Kaunas, Lithuania, October 15–17, 2020, Proceedings, Springer (Communications in Computer and Information Science)   pp. 1–14, https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-59506-7_23

Archive: Activities started in 2019

The ERCIS Digital Transformation Lab is in the process of being formalized at the Department of Information Systems of the University of Minho.

- Several projects were submitted with the collaboration of members from ERCIS, including:

Cost Action "OPen innovation Excellence Network". The action was submitted for the third time now in September. It aims to advance the understanding of the OI antecedents, hampering factors, and of the challenges present in innovation ecosystems. The action includes 67 proposers from 31 countries. The proposers from ERCIS are UMINHO, UiA, TalTech, KTU, UMaribor, and UNISG.

Virtual Open Innovation Lab (VOIL) – ERASMUS +: KA203 - Strategic Partnerships for higher education. The project aims at developing a curriculum to guide the learning of emerging technologies and assess their potential for innovating and digitally transform Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises - SMEs.

There are 9 project proposers from 7 countries and the members from ERCIS are WWU, UMINHO, KTU and UiA; by its CeDIT-centre. The project was submitted to the German national agency and approved.

- to start now in November 2019.

Joint funding opportunities

We are continously looking for oppertunities to fund and develop activities in line with our mission. Suggestions are welcome!

Here are some posibilities in EU programs:

- Boost rural economies through cross-sector digital service platforms: 22/04/2020 Rural areas are key to solve many of the big societal challenges such as climate change or the sustainable provision of food, biomass and energy. Among the priorities to be addressed, overcoming the digital divide between rural and urban areas and developing the potential offered by increased connectivity and digitisation of rural areas must receive particular attention. Proposals are expected to develop and demonstrate cost-efficient and flexible cross-domain applications through large-scale pilots. See https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/op... dt-ict-09-2020

- Research innovation needs & skills training in PhD programmes: 15/04/2020 A broad package of Open Science and entrepreneurship skills-related training, integration and intelligence for researchers and scientists in all career stages should to be developed. In 2020, the focus should be on open science and open innovation practices and the training should be integrated into existing PhD programmes. Projects need to be organised by (or in cooperation with) experienced projects, which already developed and implemented joint PhD curricula, for example under Erasmus+ or ITN. In all cases, partners should be able to demonstrate proof of concept and initial impact of the PhD training and reasoning for improving and formally integrating skills training. See https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/op...

- Hands-on citizen science and frugal innovation: 15/04/2020 Citizen science is blooming across scientifc disciplines. It can potentially bring a wide variety of benefits to researchers, citizens of diverse socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, policy makers and society across the research and innovation cycle, e.g.; it can accelerate and sometimes even make possible the production of new scientific knowledge; it can lead to innovations that meet the needs of disadvantaged population groups.  See https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/op...

- Innovators of the future: bridging the gender gap: 15/04/2020 Female creativity and innovation potential are an under-exploited source of economic growth and creation of jobs. Innovation plays a key role in addressing and solving societal challenges. It is time to break gender stereotypes, in particular in innovation and entrepreneurship, and to create a smart, sustainable and inclusive innovation ecosystem that encourages young girls to become women innovators and that provides them with the support they need to be successful. See https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/op...

We will be happy to arrange e. g., video-meetings with other ERCIS members with interest in these calls and ideas (or other ideas!) so that we can define a project by April 2020.

Updated 2021-01-02/IR/NG/.