Call for Papers

6th International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS 2017)
16-17 November 2017, Barcelona, Spain

The servitization of regions

The competitiveness of manufacturing businesses increasingly relies on their ability to introduce value-adding services into their operations, and to offer integrated packages of goods and services; a process described in the literature as the servitization of manufacturing or product-service systems. There is a growing number of manufacturing firms adding services to their offer, with recent evidence indicating that the proportion reaches up to two thirds of manufacturers in developed economies. 

However, the integration of services in-house has considerable risks and therefore manufacturers, especially SMEs, have an increased demand for externalizing knowledge-based services. Knowledge intensive business service (KIBS) firms inject advanced services—i.e., servitization—across new and incumbent manufacturing businesses. Local KIBS are both sources and carriers of knowledge that might impact the competitiveness of local manufacturing firms. The colocation of product and service firms in the same space enhance territorial and urban performance by providing high value-adding services to other organizations, and fuelling job creation. 

At the territorial level, the renaissance of local manufacturing sectors, including traditional manufacturing sectors and new approaches to production such as the Makers movement and 3D manufacturing, seems to be related to growth in KIBS sector. Knowledge-intensive service ventures tend to agglomerate together with new and incumbent manufactures, developing linkages and strategic alliances, and therefore opening a virtuous entrepreneurial circle, which in turn positively influence the renaissance of manufacturing. As such servitization and the benefits of knowledge-intensive service provision do not necessarily have to be fully integrated within the manufacturer’s internal value chain. There are benefits to ‘Territorial Servitization’. 

This edition of the International Conference on Business Servitization (ICBS) aims at studying what drivers, processes and actors play a crucial role in enabling and promoting manufacturing renaissance, technological upgrading and product-service innovation in regions. The servitization of regions offers an opportunity for local manufacturing economies to resume growth and sustain long-term competitiveness. As such, the renaissance of manufacturing through territorial servitization not only facilitates the upgrading of existing manufacturing competences, but it also offers an opportunity to develop and anchor new technological capabilities across regions. 

ICBS is a conference traditionally targeted to business professionals, policy makers and researchers. While the emphasis on the conference this year will be focused on territorial servitization, as previous editions, the organizers also welcome works related to other relevant issues implicitly or explicitly linked with servitization such as business engineering, strategy, business models, international business, operations management and supply chain management. The conference will inherit the current research of international academic community on the emerging field of servitization, which focuses both on theoretical developments and on practical applications of the methods and techniques. Through this conference, participants will share the latest research findings and practical experiences and exchange their innovative ideas.  


Special sessions on specific topics are also encouraged. Topics of interest mainly include, but not limit to:
  • Territorial Servitization 
    • Economic assessment of the impact of product-service innovation on firm and territorial competitiveness 
    • What are the antecedents, moderators/mediators, and outcomes of knowledge intensive service-manufacturing collaborations on organizational resilience and performance? 
    • Conceptualization and provision of evidence on new approaches to cluster and industrial district policies formed by multi-sector, including manufacturing and service, firms. 
    • Do KIBS firms offer opportunities for local manufacturing SMEs to outsource service provision? And for multinationals to reshoring their production to the home country? 
  • Supply chain management and marketing 
    • Servitization and supply chain management 
    • Internet of things and linking channels 
    • Product-service innovation processes and organizational performance indicators 
    • Servitization and Customer Relationship Management and customer value perception 
  • Business models and strategy 
    • Partnerships, M&As and servitization 
    • Advanced business services and practices in business model innovation 
    • The internationalization of product-service offering 
    • Resilience, agility and other firm capabilities 
  • Business engineering 
    • Industry 4.0 
    • Internet of things 
    • Service system and Service network design 
    • Tools and toolkits for engineering servitization processes
    • Big data and machine learning 

    Meeting venue

    The meeting venue is arranged in Barcelona, Spain. At least one of authors must register and participate in the meeting once a paper is accepted. For more information concerning the meeting venue, please visit website:

    Important dates

    • Deadline for introducing extended abstracts (max 1000 words): June 30, 2017, July 14, 2017 
    • Notification of acceptance: July 20, 2017, July 28, 2017 
    • Date of conference: 16-17 November 2017 

    Paper submission guidelines

    Manuscripts must be submitted electronically through the OmniaScience Link: (

    Extended abstracts MUST adhere to the guidelines outlined in the ‘Extended Abstract Template’ provided via the below link. Extended abstracts can be submitted ONLY in English. All academic presentations MUST be given in English.

    Download Extended Abstract Template

    Contact for abstract submission

    PhD. Vasileios Myrthianos,  Polytechnic University of Catalonia – Barcelona Tech