A Road Map to the Development of European SME Networks
Recent European Commission studies recall the urgency of promoting new and more robust Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), due to the rise of enormous global markets and the emergence of a new industrial system originating from the distinctly different business culture of the Far East. A 'road map' for the survival of SMEs in Europe must be based on an accurate analysis of the most significant causes behind the weaknesses of SMEs. Several research projects conclude that SMEs must join together to create 'networks'. Yet the majority of the existing networks suffer from a lack of real coordination: it is clear that a method for analyzing the governance of the network and its collaboration efficiency is essential for assuring effective performance. 'A Road Map to the Development of European SME Networks' addresses this task: describing the method of analysis, allowing comparisons to be made between SME networks in different European countries, and providing information on a supporting web site. Agostino Villa was made a full professor in 1990 and since 1991 has taught Production Planning and Control, and Performance Analysis of Industrial Production Systems at the Polytechnic University of Torino. He is currently President of the International Foundation for Production Research( IFPR), Vice-Chairman of the Technical Committee MIM (Manufacturing Modeling, Management and Control) of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC). Dario Antonelli got his Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering in December 1990. After being a researcher at the Fiat Research Center, he became an associate professor at the Politecnico di Torino in 2001, in the scientific sector Technology and Production Systems. He now teaches Production Systems at the same University and is responsible for all the graduation courses at the Faculty of Management and Industrial Engineering. His scientific activity covers the numerical modelling and simulation of production processes and its experimental verification.
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