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The RETHINK-GSC project, funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe program, is a research project that uses innovative methods to analyze the effects of global supply chains (GSCs) and develops new methodologies to quantify the role of knowledge flows and service inputs. The aim of the RETHINK-GSC is to capture the increasing importance of intangibles in global production and to provide new insights into ongoing and expected changes in global production processes.

OCT. 2022

SEP. 2025

Rethinking global supply chains

The changing nature of global supply chains requires rethinking them in order to design appropriate policy responses and investigate their employment and social impacts. RETHINK-GSC will enhance our understanding of the implications of GSCs using new measures that can quantify the role knowledge flows, and more generally services inputs, and thus acknowledge the increasing importance of intangibles in GSCs.

The project provides new and innovative methodologies for assessing the development of global supply chains, which generates new knowledge on ongoing and expected changes in GSCs due to shocks. The research, both theoretical and empirical, will be conducted mainly at the level of the firm – the unit that ultimately decides on the organization of international production.

Using the RETHINK-GSC innovative measures allows the projects’ researchers and future scholars to:

  • investigate the interaction between tangible and intangible GSCs to evaluate the changing nature of global supply chains,
  • provide novel ways of analyzing the impact of GSCs on social, economic and environmental outcomes in European countries, and
  • evaluate the resilience of GSCs to exogenous shocks.


Policy scenarios

Furthermore, the project elaborates policy scenarios for expected future GSC developments. This new evidence contributes to enhancing policy developments related to ensuring level playing fields in trade relations and ensuring security of strategic supplies.

Sister Projects

Along with RETHINK-GSC, two more Horizon Europe projects are examining how the changing nature of global supply chains impact social, economic and environmental outcomes, and how they respond to exogenous shocks.

Funded under the call Towards a new normal? Employment and social impacts of changing supply chains and declining trade intensities —HORIZON-CL2-2021-TRANSFORMATIONS-01-06, the three sister projects aim to harness potential synergies arising from their research, and to explore channels to support and strengthen their outcomes and impact.

RETHINK-GSC’s sister projects are:

Paving the way for sustainable trade patterns, supply chains and production networks
As a result of the recent pandemic, global supply chains have completely transformed. This has raised concerns over the ensuing social, economic and environmental trends and related impact on the way supply chains are organised. In this context, the ReSChape project will analyse social, economic and environmental changes and disruptions, including the COVID-19 pandemic, and evaluate their impact on supply chains. New supply chain models will be proposed, aiming towards a more streamlined supply chain process to assure humans (workers, consumers, and in general citizens) to be at the center of the business also thanks to new digital technologies. It will be studied how to assure a positive social impact and innovative policy scenarios will be developed with recommendations to support the future supply chains.

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Studying changes in the world for better policymaking
The impacts of the development of digital technologies, geopolitical conflicts, and new forms of globalisation can be felt across Europe and throughout the world. Situations like these create job insecurity, inflation, and other negative effects on people’s lives. With the goal of overcoming and adapting to these major events, the TWIN SEEDS project aims to study these global issues and the way they have affected everyday life and the world and use this data to develop improved policy options to prepare for the next year and overcome these issues before they evolve into serious problems.

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Sandra Martini
Project Manager

Melanie Radike
Communications Manager

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