Partners and International Organizations|
Comnetmedia (D), Ponton(D), Cefriel(I), Macrofarma(P), Edifice (CH), NetUnion (CH)
OCTANE addresses the needs of European/international SMEs that face prohibitive cost of establishing trustworthy trade and collaboration with international business partners. The project aims to provide a solution for improving the 'Time to Contract' by integrating new ICT technology into user-friendly applications and developing business models for encouraging access to low cost and reliable business information.
OCTANE will deploy and validate an Open Contracting process composed of three components:
1. OCS software which supports contract composition and negotiation,
2. Electronic Notary for certification and verification,
3. Online Business Information from trusted organizations such as chambers of commerce.
For Switzerland, the project has a double impact: allowing significant technology transfer and integration of leading edge E-commerce technology as a project result, and providing an opportunity for a group of SMEs in the planning and architecture sector to deploy innovative technology in support of new model of inter-regional cooperation. For the Swiss partners, NetUnion and Edifice, the project produced the following results:
1. Enabled a clear technology transfer of leading edge European research, to the Swiss participants, (both SMEs) for:
o Online Contracting Services (OCS),
o Trusted Third Party concepts and services such as the E-notary,
o Integration of digital signature technology compliant with current European digital signature legistation to support trust creation in online transactions.
NetUnion was able to make clear improvements on its basic technology platform. The knowledge and experience gained from the project will have a significant impact on extending the consulting, development, or integration services offered by the company.
2. Allowed the Swiss partners to try out and refine business concepts for the development of a multi-regional collaborative platform for managing Online Contracting within the construction industry. The idea of having a specialised platform for supporting a virtual enterprise model of collaboration within a closed community of franchisees has been generalised into an open platform offering a bundle of advanced webservices: i.e. project management, bid and offer platforms...etc, to all qualified SMEs in the construction industry.
3. An effective dissemination strategy meant that both Swiss partners, NetUnion and Edifice, gained substantial exposure as leaders in the Swiss contruction market for potentially offering a fully integrated online service platform for the construction industry. Contacts were made with the Swiss Society of Architects and Engineers (SIA) in providing standard industry templates (SIA contract templates) via the technology platform. Negotiations with industry partners will continue after end of project period.
Due to the innovative nature of the Swiss business scenario the Swiss partners were also asked by the project officer(s) to present their work at major IST conferences (Venice 2001, Go-Digital 2002 Brussels). The project presentation in the Venice conference was cited as one of the three best paper of the conference. The Swiss partners were also invited to prepare a summary of their work to be published in a showcase of European project.