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Industry Domains

Complementary to the IDEAS perspectives on services, KSOS focuses on cross cutting application domains that provide real-world scenarios and applications. This assures relevance and applicability of teaching and research outcomes and it stimulates interdisciplinary research and education within the program and with external partners.

Current global trends motivate the formation of six such service domains

  • Energy
  • Facilities and Productions
  • Finance
  • Healthcare
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)
  • Mobility and Supply Chain

Industry Domain: Energy

The energy systems of the 21st century are confronted with severe challenges. Renewable and distributed energy resources begin to play a major role to cope with environmental, political, and economic pressure. Due to the increasing share of volatile regenerative electricity production (wind, photovoltaic), issues of fluctuations and unpredictability of power output require special attention.

This situation calls for the design and engineering of entirely new smart services in the energy domain.

Fluctuations in energy supplies will have to be predicted in much more detail, new energy services and markets will impact today’s rather passive and inelastic behavior of retail customers, and new technology like smart homes and grids will emerge.


Industry Domain: Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)

  As an industry sector, ICT is facing a fundamental re-organization. The most significant ongoing development in this respect is cloud computing. Similarly, innovations with respect to new technical devices, e.g. smart-phones, are increasingly coupled with the development of corresponding innovative service offers. Finally, the sector is challenged by decentralization, interconnection and user-driven innovation witnessed on the social web (“Web 2.0” and “Web 3.0”).

These developments raise highly relevant and challenging research questions which require a multi-faceted analysis from all IDEAS perspectives. This involves changes in

  • ICT market structure and business models
  • new technical standards and architectures
  • the design and engineering of hybrid product-service offers
  • systematic approaches to open innovation and
  • the assessment of the social implications of new ICT offers.


Industry Domain: Healthcare








 Healthcare systems worldwide are facing tremendous changes. Within developed countries, the aging population and the advances in modern medicine – combined with intense cost-pressure – pose challenges to the healthcare systems.

Research questions along all the IDEAS perspectives dealing with the adequate design of healthcare services, smart usage of (big) healthcare data, efficient architectures for service provisioning, acceptance and privacy issues, as well as optimization approaches and new business models for health services are just a few examples.

Several aspects and interdependencies in complex health services need to be considered:

  • optimization of core healthcare services
  • optimized processes for facility and emergency services
  • support services for the elderly (e.g. ambient assisted living)
  • the role of ICT for productivity, quality and
  • monitoring of healthcare services, and health-economic analysis taking into account political, social and legal aspects



Industry Domain: Finance


 Financial institutions provide a plethora of services that are essential to the proper functioning of financial systems. These include the supply of investment and financing capital, the execution of financial transactions, news and information services, forecasting, and services to assess risk.


The recent financial crisis has raised questions about the quality of financial services, appropriate checks and balances as well as the risks associated with fragmented service provision. Recent developments in ICT provide a number of questions surrounding the stability of markets that are becoming increasingly automated.

Financial services are also of particular importance when it comes to the provision of financial capital to small and medium sized firms, in which a lot of innovation takes place. This development has important ramifications for economic growth and welfare.



Industry Domain: Mobility and Supply Chain

Globalization has led to an unprecedented level of international exchange of goods and services as well as worldwide mobility of individuals. Facilitated and supported by ICT, professional and personal relations span more regions and countries than ever before.

This development has resulted in an increased demand for transportation, logistics, travel, and communication-related services. It has also resulted in entirely new forms of geographically distributed service networks.

This motivates various important research topics across all IDEAS perspectives, ranging from process innovations required to handle increased globalization to appropriate standardized interfaces as well as legal and societal issues.





Industry Domain: Facilities and Production




Stagnant product demand and sophisticated customer demands for holistic solutions have pushed economic value creation downstream in traditional manufacturing industries of developed countries: The generation of industrial product service systems (“IPS”) and service-related activities like customization, after sales services, maintenance and replacement will become more relevant for many traditional industries.


Facility management is concerned with the support processes and the services needed to support and improve the effectiveness of maintenance and care of commercial or institutional infrastructures.

The unique approach of KSOS enables a tighter integration between academia and the industrial actors in these fields, and can thus promote positive effects for both sides. Facilities and the related construction industry are often considered as low innovation sectors.

However, increasing energy costs and concerns for sustainability and social responsibility drive innovation in facilities design and management. For example, many services connected to production and facilities depend on smart resource management, as economic value is often generated by sharing resources among different customers.