The PSYMBIOSYS concept is based on a holistic and unifying collaboration concept (the symbiosis) implemented through a five-pointed star symbolizing the following 5 main dichotomies we have identified in product-service design. The 5 main dichotomies or tussles[1] which are currently preventing service innovation to be pervasively adopted by all EU manufacturing industries, SMEs included:

Products and Services are by nature so different that they require specific methods, competencies, processes to be managed and governed efficiently. This undoubted fact often origins inside the same company or value chain a sharp distinction between product and service departments and labs, with the risk to create organisational silos and walled gardens of competencies, separated by high organisational-technological-psychological barriers. How to preserve the specific characteristics of product and services in a value chain, without creating isolated and not interconnected walled gardens?
Service-Oriented and Event-Driven architectures are at the basis of new ICT systems and applications, but also of important theoretical tussles. Everything is a Thing or Everything is a Service are two holistic but conflicting views of the world, on the one side IoT promotes the intelligence everywhere and an extreme pervasive distribution of the computation, peer-to-peer communication and decisional capacity; on the other side (IoS) it is envisaged a cloudification of ICT systems and their optimisation in few very sophisticated and specialised data centres, maybe also based on HPC architectures. IOTS is indeed the basis for German Industrie 4.0 paradigm and of several running projects (such as iCore,, but the open question is how to create a generic conceptual and implementation framework which could identify and implement the interoperability points between SOA and EDA in PLM value chain systems?
Knowledge and Sentiment are two sides of the same creativity coin, but they have different background and different aims. In particular for product-service design, professional knowledge (from engineering departments and mostly product-related) needs to be mediated with crowd sentiment (from marketing departments and mostly service-related). Nowadays, even for products not related to daily consumption by citizens, aspects of brand image, carbon footprint awareness, environmental impact minimisation, social responsibility, political sensitivity must be addressed by product-service solutions. When designing innovative product-service solutions, how to consider both professional knowledge and crowd sentiments, trying to mediate extreme technology-push and market-pull positions?
Business and Innovation are often pushing to different directions in the same manufacturing enterprise. For instance, service innovation (e.g. selling flight hours instead of helicopters; selling agriculture treated extension instead of tractors) could be very disruptive against the current even profitable business models of a manufacturing company. But also for an IT company, the transition from license+service to a pure service-oriented business model could be very disruptive indeed, so that in many occasions the most innovative but disruptive (risk of business cannibalism) ideas are confined to spin-out and spin-offs and are not really implemented inside the same organisation. How to reconcile current profitable and competitive product-oriented business models with more intangible, risky, service-oriented and Internet-based businesses?
Design and Manufacturing of products are usually connected in a sequential mono-directional manner in most of PLM reference models and we can say the same for every single phase of the PLM (from BOL to MOL to EOL) which suffers from the waterfall cascading model. The digitalisation of all the PLM phases has led to several enterprise and value chain systems operating on the same physical product and offering diverse and often semantically non-interoperable views of the same reality. How to reconcile Real World and Digital World in PLM allowing multi-directional interoperability of the digital images of the same product between design-manufacturing and in general along every single phase of the PLM?

A final fundamental tussle is concerned with the most suitable collaboration form where to implement product-service innovation in manufacturing industries. It is undoubted that manufacturing enterprises must collaborate to better innovate, but how? Digital Business Ecosystems have been deeply studied since the beginning of FP7 in several ICT and FoF projects and the conclusion is that, although it is a very fascinating and appealing concept at macro-economic level, when put to the earth of regional and local supply networks you recognise that the governance of your system cannot be based on the Darwin’s law, that it is just the fittest species which survive. This “your death is my life” principle or the fact that just a certain small percentage of the species will survive is perhaps acceptable in the long term and at a macro worldwide level, but cannot be the only rule when governing product-service design value chains with diverse stakeholders and variegated objectives. So there is a basic question: Which is the most suitable collaboration form in product-service design which will favour the reduction of the above tussles and finally implement a win-win situation for all the stakeholders involved?

[1] For the use of the word “tussle”, see A Tussle Analysis for Information-Centric Networking Architectures, in “The Future Internet”, 2012