The 'Product Service Systems' course in a nutshell

The Design of Product-Service Systems SIG is happy to organise an ONLINE ONLY course in Product-Service Systems for PhD students, young investigators and industrial practitioners. The course will kick-off in April 20th 2022 and will be rounded up by a final presentation event in June 8th 2022. The course will be organised and examined by Blekinge Institute of Technology, in collaboration with Luleå University of Technology, University of Turku, Technical University of Denmark and Tokyo Metropolitan University. The course is organised in the frame of the Swedish Produktion2030 initiative and it is free of charge. You can register at this link.


The European Green Deal, Europe’s new agenda for sustainable growth, stresses the importance of taking action towards a more circular paradigm for our economy. This is testified by the Circular Economy Action Plan (CEAP), which mentions product-as-a-service models - such as Product-Service Systems (PSS) – as the means to realize decoupled economic growth from resource consumption. 

PSS can be described as “a market proposition that extends the traditional functionality of a product by incorporating additional services. The Total-Care Package offered by Rolls-Royce plc. is often referred to as a classical example of PSS. This is often descried as a “subscription” model for airlines, Here, rather than transferring ownership of the gas turbine engine to the airline, the provider takes care of the installation, check-ups, maintenance and decommissioning of the hardware for a flat hourly rate per engine. By doing so, Rolls-Royce plc.can collect data on product performance and use, which is later analysed to provide more insight on how to enhance the engine’s performance parameters (for example, maintenance schedules etc.), to improve its efficiency, to leverage asset utilization, and to reduce total ownership cost while minimising environmental impact.

PSS are appealing from both an economic and societal perspective, mainly as a means to better fulfil customer demands, improve sales, be competitive in dynamic markets and meet sustainability target. Yet, PSS are no implicit guarantee for increased circularity and must be ‘intentionally designed’ to lead to greener and more sustainable solutions.

Aim and learning outcomes

The course aims to provide an overview of the current strategies, methods and tools related to the design and implementation of Product-Service Systems in industry, as well as to highlight current and future areas of research in the PSS field. 

Knowledge and understanding. On completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • describe and analyse how products and PSS solutions are developed;
  • describe how the notion of PSS relates to the concepts of circular economy, socio-economic sustainability and environmental protection;
  • describe how the introduction of digital technologies impact the design or product/service solutions.

Competence and skills. On completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • discuss needs, trend and drivers for PSS initiatives;
  • apply and reflect on the use of methodologies and processes supporting PSS development;
  • apply suitable research methods in the field of PSS;
  • verbally and in writing describe and reflect on their research findings and conclusions - in dialogue with other students.

Judgement and approach. On completion of the course, the student will be able to:

  • analyse, reflect on, and argue for the benefits of PSS initiatives, with regard to customer desirability, technical feasibility, and commercial viability of the PSS;
  • analyse and explain PSS initiatives in terms of how they contribute to sustainable development (environmental, social, economic).

Teaching Team


The course will be organised and examined by Blekinge Institute of Technology, which will also provide a certificate to each participant upon approval of (i.e., upon obtaining a PASS grade for) the following items:

  • A written report (can be done individually or in small groups of max 4 people) on a topic of own choice, where the student(s) shall demonstrate their ability to relate the course content to a specific problem related to his/her/their own research interest.
  • An oral presentation at the ‘Final Presentations’ event on June 8th 2022.
  • An opposition on other group presentations at the ‘Final Presentations’ event on June 8th 2022.

Course set-up and schedule

The course builds on a number of readings (see the Literature section below) describing different aspects related to the design and implementation of PSS in the manufacturing industry. 

The 2022 edition of the course is will be conducted completely ONLINE and will feature 8 virtual sessions (VS1 to VS8, see the table below) and individual/group work activites in between the sessions. It will also be possible for the students to book dedicated supervision meetings sessions to discuss the status and progress of their assignment with the main contact point for the course. 









Product-Service Systems: drivers, key definitions and implementations

Prof. Tobias Larsson

April 20th 2022, 10:00-12:00

An introduction to the main trends, definitions and industrial implementations for Product-Service Systems.

[1] [2] [3] [4]


PSS Research Methodology

Ass. Prof. Alessandro Bertoni 

April 27th 2022, 10:00-12:00

A review of how to set up a rigourous research approach in PSS design. 



PSS design: challenges and opportunities for the manufacturing firm

Prof. Anna Öhrwall Rönnbäck 

May 4th, 2022, 10:00-12:00

A review of how the engineering work is affected by PSS, especially in terms of required competencies and other capabilities.



Co-design of PSS toward sustainability

PhD. Yuya Mitake

May 11th 2022, 10:00-12:00

An introduction to a conceptual framework of sustainable PSS design for sustainability transition. 



PSS modelling and simulation

Prof. Marco Bertoni

May 18th 2022, 10:00-12:00

A review of the most popular approaches and techniques to represent, model and simulate PSS processes.

[8] [9] [10]


Digital transformation types for Product Service Systems

Prof. Yong Se Kim

May 27th 2022, 10:00-12:00

A review of different strategies and paths for digital transformation to be considered in designing PSS.

[11] [12]


PSS vs. circular economy: similarities and differences

Ass. Prof. Daniela Pigosso 

June 1st 2022, 10:00-12:00

A discussion on how to decouple economic growth from resource consumption through PSS.



Final presentations

Prof. Tobias Larsson  and Prof. Marco Bertoni

June 8th 2022, 10:00-12:00

The students will present the outcome of their assignments (as introduced in session S1) in an open forum.




The course is based on selected literature, in form of books and academic papers, which shall be considered by the students as a starting point to further deepen the investigation of the PSS design topic, e.g. through snowballing.

  1. Alonso-Rasgado, T., Thompson, G., & Elfström, B. O. (2004). The design of functional (total care) products. Journal of Engineering Design, Vol. 15, No. 6, pp. 515-540
  2. Baines, T.S., Lightfood, H.W., Evans, S., Neely, A., Greenough, R., Peppard, J., Roy, R., Shehab, E., Braganza, A., Tiwari, A., Alcock, J.R., Angus, J.P., Bastl, M., Cousens, A., Irving, P., Johnson, M., Kingston, J., Lockett, H., Martinez, V., Michele, P., Tranfield, D., Walton, I.M. and Wilson, H. (2007), "State-of-the-art in product-service systems", Journal of Engineering Manufacture, Vol. 221, Is. .B, pp.1543-1552.
  3. Tukker, A., & Tischner, U. (Eds.). (2017). New business for old Europe: product-service development, competitiveness and sustainability. Routledge.
  4. Haase, R.P., Pigosso, D.C., & McAloone, T.C. (2017). Product/service-system origins and trajectories: a systematic literature review of PSS definitions and their characteristics. Procedia CIRP, Vol. 64, pp. 157-162.
  5. Blessing, L.T., & Chakrabarti, A. (2009). DRM: A Design Research Methodology. Springer, London.
  6. Isaksson, O., Larsson, T.C., & Rönnbäck, A. Ö. (2009). Development of product-service systems: challenges and opportunities for the manufacturing firm. Journal of Engineering Design, Vol. 20, No. 4, pp. 329-348.
  7. Mitake, Y., Hiramitsu, K., Tsutsui, Y., Sholihah, M., & Shimomura, Y. (2020) A Strategic Planning Method to Guide Product-Service System Development and Implementation. Sustainability (Switzerland), Vol. 12, No. 18. 
  8. Kim, Y. S., Lee, S. W., & Koh, D.C. (2011). Representing product-service systems with product and service elements. In DS 68-4: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, Vol. 4: Product and Systems Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, Denmark, 15.-19.08. 2011 (pp. 390-399).
  9. Bertoni, M., Pezzotta, G., Scandella, B., Wall, J., & Jonsson, P. (2019). Life cycle simulation to support cross-disciplinary decision making in early PSS design. Procedia CIRP, 83, 260-265.
  10. Rondini, A., Tornese, F., Gnoni, M. G., Pezzotta, G., & Pinto, R. (2017). Hybrid simulation modelling as a supporting tool for sustainable Product Service Systems: a critical analysis. International Journal of Production Research, Vol. 55, No. 23, pp. 6932-6945.
  11. Kim, Y. S. (2021). Digital transformation types for product-service systems. Proceedings of the Design Society, Vol. 1, pp. 1283-1292.
  12. Gaiardelli, P., Pezzotta, G., Rondini, A., Romero, D., Jarrahi, F., Bertoni, M. et al. (2021). Product-Service Systems evolution in the era of Industry 4.0. Service Business, Vol.15, No. 1, pp. 177-207.
  13. Kjaer, L. L., Pigosso, D. C., Niero, M., Bech, N. M., & McAloone, T. C. (2019). Product/service‐systems for a circular economy: the route to decoupling economic growth from resource consumption?. Journal of Industrial Ecology, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 22-35.

How to register?

Please create an account and register on the Kunskapsformedlingen website at this link.


For more information, please contact:

Prof. Marco Bertoni

Department of Mechanical Engineering 

Blekinge Institute of Technology

+46 (0)455 38 55 33

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