|In the RESERVIST project, we investigate how manufacturers could rapidly convert their production to answer emergency needs in case of a pandemic. This preparation directly consequences the supply problems in protective and medical equipment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rapid conversions of production can increase the resilience of EU countries towards emergencies, especially in terms of supply chains.
A decision to convert the output in a tight schedule is not a light one to make and requires both information and coordination. To facilitate this, the RESERVIST project is designing and prototyping a communication and coordination tool known as Reservist Digital Platform (RDP). Through this tool, companies can provide information on their available capabilities (especially considering material suppliers) and receive information that supports decision-making to be prepared for production start-up (ongoing situation awareness regarding emergencies).
RDP is planned as a loosely coupled, publish/subscribe communication platform, making it flexible and easy to accommodate various situations. The key architecture for the platform is International Data Spaces (IDS), which defines ways for companies to discover each other based on different criteria (IDS Broker, data formats for company information), as well as for direct data exchange between companies (IDS Connectors). One source of variance is the level of software integration that companies are willing to implement when interacting with the platform. While some are happy to receive periodical e-mails, others can implement IDS components locally to their IT systems to maximize the platform benefits.
In case of an emergency, traditional business dynamics dominated by pricing are discarded, and capacity and availability become dominating factors in purchasing. For this reason, the RDP will include extensible data formats that allow searching for company candidates through multiple criteria (price, capacity, availability, etc.). This expands the usefulness of the platform, as the searching and partnering can be used both during emergencies and in (new) normal conditions.