SS34: Digital-enabled, resilient and sustainable production and supply chain processes: reconfiguration and international competitiveness of companies and territories

Name and affiliations of the session organisers

  • Cristina Di Stefano (Politecnico di Milano)
  • Diletta Pegoraro (Politecnico di Milano)
  • Lucia Piscitello (Politecnicodi Milano)


Faced with the emergence of major social and environmental challenges – such as climate change, growing inequalities, and persistent problems of poverty and social exclusion – the international scientific community has questioned the adequacy of the technological and industrial development paradigm of recent decades. Technological advances are often developed and adopted with the goal of minimizing costs; however, this approach neglects their potential human, social, and environmental impacts and limits their contribution to the industrial and territorial development. Recent European policy-making, such as the ‘Industry 5.0’ model promoted by the European Commission, recognizes these limitations and advocates for a new industrial development model that prioritizes human-centered, resilient and sustainable systems. 

To implement an Industry 5.0 model is necessary to redesign the current production processes and supply chains, placing humans at the center of technological advancements and taking into account social and environmental challenges, as well as resilience ones, in the design of new technologies and systems. 

Digital technologies represent a powerful tool for firms and policy-makers to deal with sustainability and resilience goals (e.g., by saving resources and energy, lower emissions, designing for recycling and managing waste in a responsible way) and, at the same time, increase international competitiveness. However, little is known about the extent to which the Industry 5.0 model has the potential to create positive externalities in local territories, such as through product and process innovations, knowledge diffusion, and inward foreign direct investment attraction. Additionally, the role of local actors in balancing the trade-offs inherent in Industry 5.0 remains unclear. 

Possible topics that would be suitable for this Special Session include (but are not limited to):  

  • The emergence of collaborative and distributed production models enabled by digital platforms. 
  • Models and methods for the configuration and management of regenerative and resilient industrial supply chains. 
  • Digital technologies enabling international configuration, reconfiguration and competitiveness of firms and territories. 
  • Digital technologies and models for the development of new skills, inclusion and diversity management. 
  • Institutional initiatives in supporting the development of Industry 5.0 model(s). 
  • Industry 5.0 model for least developed countries and remote localities. 
  • Industry 5.0 and FDIs local attraction. 
  • Innovation and knowledge diffusion within Industry 5.0 model(s).

We welcome submissions using a diversity of research methods including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods approaches. Please provide this information in your abstract.


The present track proposal is developed in collaboration with the “HumanTech – Humans and Technology” project. The HumanTech project has been selected and funded by the Ministry of University and Research (MUR) for the period 2023-2027 within “Dipartimenti di Eccellenza” (Law 232/2016). 


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