Stakeholders are people and organizations, who are affected by and can influence the Semantic Web. Several main actors, which can be considered as both consumers and producers (“prosumers”) of the Semantic Web, have been identified. The Semantic Web value chain represents groups of interests which co-create value through knowledge and experience exchanges. It connects researchers, who mainly produce Semantic Web theories and methods, computer science firms, which mainly produce solutions, and firms and end users, which adopt and use Semantic Web technologies.
Fig : Stakeholders and the Value Chain of the Semantic Web
According to this value chain the following actors have been identified:
1. Semantic Web researchers, who are directly involved in European and international projects, are developing and innovating theories and methods of the Semantic Web (i.e. Semantic Web languages, Semantic Web services or algorithms to deal with reasoning, scalability, heterogeneity, and dynamics). In order to validate the resulting theories, researchers often develop application prototypes which are tested within innovative firms.
2. Consortiums of standardization are interested in sorting out new recommendations and standards for Semantic Web technologies, giving the basics for innovative tools.
3. Software developers are interested in developing Semantic Web solutions and applications. They can directly sell the latter to firms and, at the same time, test innovative theories and methods.
4. Intermediaries are interested in transferring technology and knowledge from researchers and developers to practitioners. Intermediaries can assume the form of Semantic Web designers, consultants, venturecapitals, spin offs, etc.
5. Innovative enterprises are interested in catching new opportunitiesfrom the Semantic Web and also developing new business models.
6. End-users are interested in obtaining useful and effective solutions. One of the most important requisites is to use a transparent technology – “No matter what is behind, if it works”. Although end users are positioned at the end of the value chain, their needs are very relevant for all Semantic Web stakeholders.
7. Standardization de-facto. End-users should be considered as a central element in the production of social and semantic-based technology, thus should be strongly connected with all of the other value chain actors. Also, the consumerization phenomenon is unveiling newstandards, which are de-facto substituting for consortiums of standardization.
Thanks to several European projects developed in different fields, a lot of companies are considering Semantic Web technologies as very challenging, and are starting to test these technologies in real applications. In many sectors, such as the ones that the Knowledge Web NoE has explored, beneficial results are wide spread.
b. automobile industries
c. banking and finance
d. consumer goods
e. distribution energy and public utilities
g· government and public services
h· food industries
i· industry and construction
j· pharmaceuticals and health
k· service industries
m· technology and solution providers
o· transport and logistics
The Semantic Web will spread all over the industry sectors, as an important building block of any sort of application. In other words, the Semantic Web is affecting most of the industry sectors in which technology and knowledge are relevant assets to be managed.