Conference Theme

Digitalization through Digital Twins – Innovation in the analysis and management of environmental and physical engineered complex systems

Several societal, social and technological trends are currently emerging and converging toward a higher level of engagement of consumers or customers respectively in the B2C or B2B early stage of innovation. One of the societal trends could be illustrated by the circular economy with local production and recycling that citizens are more and more embracing. Regarding technology trends, one could cite the generalization of Digital Twins as one of the approaches of the digital transformation leading to dramatic improvements in the B2B and even B2C environments. One could also observe the impact of immersive and prototyping technologies blurring the lines between digital and physical worlds (Pallot& Richir, 2016). However, the influence of digitization on innovation management as a business process is not so much discussed in academic literature (Nambisan et al., 2017).

A digital twin is defined as a “digital replicate of a living or non-living physical entity (Saddik, A., 2018)”. The use of digital twins in the engineering context is currently gaining increasing tractions, with particular growth of this area in the manufacturing, construction, infrastructure and transportation fields. Innovation in this field is widespread and however, their adoption faces significant technological, social and managerial issues.

Of particular interest is innovation in the application of the following to the use digital twins in engineering:

  • Internet of Things (IoT) and Cyber Physical Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Deep Learning
  • Robotics & Autonomous Systems
  • Immersive Technologies: Virtual, Augmented & Mixed Reality
  • Product or Service Prototyping: e.g. 3D printing, virtual and augmented reality and other technologies for rapid prototyping of innovative ideas
  • Cyber Security of Digital Twin data
  • Blockchain
  • Development of new business models incorporating digital twins
  • Digital Twin Education and Training
  • Digital Twin enabled Services and Software Platforms
  • Revisiting Project Management for Digital Twin engineering projects

Additionally, a core theme of the conference will cover the management and the practical adoption of these innovative technologies to industrial challenges.

Fields of application can include, but are not limited to:

  • Construction
  • Transportation (including Future and Smart Mobility)
  • Energy Supply and Energy Utilities
  • Manufacturing and Factories of the Future (Industry 4.0)
  • Health Care
  • Energy Distribution / Infrastructure and Smart Grids
  • Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing
  • Digital Twins of Business Models
  • Digital Supply Chain Management
  • Future Cities / Sustainable Urban Development

Additionally, the following topics are considered in the area of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

  • Digital Innovation Management
  • Responsible Research & Innovation – Socio-Technical Integration Research
  • Technology Transfer: Academic Entrepreneurship and Innovation Systems.
  • Research and Innovation in Creative Industries
  • Sustainability in Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Entrepreneurship
  • Intrapreneurship & Corporate Venturing
  • Digital Social Networks: Driving Innovation, improving Working Conditions and improving Agility in Organizations
  • Entrepreneurial Finance
  • Commercializing Technology
  • Women & STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)
  • Technology & Trend Foresight Management


Pallot, M. and Richir S. (2016). Laval Virtual Vision 2025: Blurring the lines between Digital and Physical Worlds. Proceedings of ICDVRAT 2016, Los Angeles, USA

Nambisan, S., Lyytinen, K., Majchrzak, A. & M. Song. (2017). Digital innovation management: Reinventing innovation management research in a digital world. MIS Quarterly, 41(1), 223-238

Richter, C., Kraus, S., Brem, A., Durst, S., & Giselbrecht, C. (2017). Digital entrepreneurship: Innovative business models for the sharing economy. Creativity and innovation management, 26(3):300-310

El Saddik, “Digital Twins: The Convergence of Multimedia Technologies,” in IEEE MultiMedia, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 87-92, Apr.-Jun. 2018.