Establishment of interorganizational network structures for the use of flywheel effects in manufacturing companies

The aim of the FlyNet research project is to make Flywheel effects usable for small and medium-sized manufacturing companies by establishing cross-company networks.

Initial situation

Mastering the digital transformation often requires resource-intensive investments that can only be made by large companies. A promising innovation is the establishment of a customer-centric ecosystem, which leads to long-term customer loyalty by dovetailing several business areas. In addition to existing business, new services can be offered that not only open up a new market, but also strengthen the core products. This so-called flywheel effect is characterized by the fact that after high initial investments, a momentum of its own sets in, which is self-reinforcing through increasing customer loyalty and cross-selling effects. If small and medium-sized enterprises want to benefit from this effect, they have to build an ecosystem with other companies, as they cannot afford such innovations on their own due to their low resource availability.

Solution approach

Within the research project, the first step is to identify and describe drivers and barriers of the FlyWheel effect. Subsequently, network types and structures for deriving cooperation models are elaborated and complemented by control systems. Finally, the network of the FlyWheel effect will be modeled and published as a public reporting tool with a corresponding roadmap.

Expected result

The deliverable includes a network model that can be used to simulate the FlyWheel effect and a roadmap that structures actions to successfully leverage the FlyWheel effect.

Benefits for the target group

Organizations can strengthen their market position through the project by benefiting from ecosystems and being able to assess their setup apriori.


  • Machinery and Plant Engineering

Topic Area

  • Business Transformation

Research Focus

  • Ecosystem Design

JRF Guiding Topic

  • Industry & Environment


Funding no.
22052 N
Project homepage
Funding information

The IGF project 22052 N of the Research Association FIR e. V. at the RWTH Aachen University is funded via the AiF within the framework of the programme for the funding of cooperative industrial research (IGF) by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) on the basis of a resolution of the German Bundestag.

Further information

Kurzinformation zum Projekt [PDF]


Der Abschlussbericht zu diesem Forschungsprojekt ist über den FIR e. V. an der RWTH Aachen erhältlich: epub(at)