Forklift truck driver in factory
The ProSerV (Product and Services Value Chain Innovation through Advanced Technologies) Group investigates how to innovate and transform the product and services value chain through smart business and enterprise decisions, and by the effective use of advanced digital, knowledge management and decision analysis technologies. 
The main objective of ProSerV involves consolidating and enhancing research by pooling expertise and strengths from multiple disciplines, in order to better address important business and management issues across the value chain. As such the group is keen to engage academics from a range of disciplines both within and outside the University of Plymouth. Please contact Professor Shaofeng Liu if you are interested in working with ProSerV. 

ProSerV Lead – Professor Shaofeng Liu

Professor Shaofeng Liu is Professor of Operations Management and Decision Making. She has published 2 books and over 200 research papers. She is on the editorial boards for a number of international journals, including International Journal of Sustainable Agricultural Management and Informatics (IJSAMI) and International Journal of Information and Decision Sciences (IJIDS). She has been involved in a great number of influential research projects funded by the European Commission and various UK research councils. Currently, she is the PI for two live projects funded by the Royal Society, and Research England and Office for Students. She is the Chair of the Management Board for the international society, Euro Working Group on Decision Support Systems
Professor Shaofeng Lui

ProSerV sub-themes:

The ProSerV research group is inter-disciplinary and focuses on the integration of four intertwined cross-cutting themes that are vitally important to business success in the current climate of global digitisation and the knowledge economy:
  • product and service value chain
  • digital business
  • knowledge management
  • decision making.
The diagram opposite shows the overall picture of the product/service value chain innovation through advanced technologies, based on these four key research streams.
ProSerV Themes 8

Related projects

2022–2026, Research England and OfS co-funded project “Generation Delta: Nurturing the next generation of BAME female professors”, focusing on improving BAME women students’ access and progression in PGR education, fund amount £797,264. The project is coordinated by Leeds University. Partners include: Plymouth, London/Goldsmiths, Reading, Sheffield and Sunderland Universities.
2022–2024, UK Royal Society funded project “Water for food sustainability: from precision measurement of soil water content to data-driven decision support”. Funded under International Exchanges Cost Share (NSFC) scheme. In collaboration between University of Plymouth and Henan Agriculture University, China. 
2021–2022, UK government funded project “Devon Agri-Tech Acceleration (DATA)”, funded under Community Renewal Fund scheme, fund amount £503,318. The project is coordinated by Devon County Council, partners including University of Plymouth (Business School and SEI), Duchy College, and South West Business Information Point.
2016–2020, Horizon 2020 project “Enhancing and implementing knowledge based ICT solutions within high risk and uncertain conditions for agriculture production systems (RUC-APS)”, a €1.3M project funded by European Commission under the Marie Curie RISE scheme (Work Package Principal Investigator: Professor Shaofeng Liu).
2014–2016, EU Erasmus Plus KA2 project “Developing online tools to foster entrepreneurship in retail sector for young people (LET IT BE PROJECT)”, a €120,832 project funded by the European Commission (University of Plymouth Principal Investigator: Professor Shaofeng Liu). 
2017–2020, Horizon 2020 project “Blood Biomarker-based Diagnostic Tools for Early Stage Alzheimer’s Disease”, a €3.5M project funded by the European Commission under the Marie Curie ETN scheme (Co-ordinator: Professor Genhua Pan from University of Plymouth working with Professors Nikolaos Tzokas and Shaofeng Liu in the Faculty of Business and Dr Xinzhong Li, Professor Camille Carroll and Ian Sherriff of the Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry).
2015–2018, Horizon 2020 project “Innovative Quality of Experience Management in Emerging Multimedia Services (QoE-Net)”, a €3.1M project funded by the European Commission under the Marie Curie ETN scheme, with the University of Plymouth managing a €547K work package led by Dr Lingfen Sun working with Professor Shaofeng Liu and Professor Emmanuel Ifeachor).
2015–2017, Post-doc Knowledge Transfer Partnership project “Researching, evaluating and embedding sustainable technologies into Construction industry”, funded by Innovate UK/EPSRC and Wates Construction, £146,000 (with Professor Steve Goodhew as Academic Lead working with Professor Shaofeng Liu and KTP Associate Dr Zainab Dangana

Selected publications


Childe S and Soares A (Eds.), 2022. Handbook of Research Methods for Supply Chain Management. Edward Elgar Publishing, DOI
S Liu, 2020. Knowledge Management: An Interdisciplinary Approach for Business Decisions. Publisher: Kogan Page. ISBN-10: 0749494832, ISBN-13: 978-0749494834.
X Wang, M Roe and S Liu, 2020. The Sustainability of Oil Ports: An Holistic Framework for China. Publisher: Palgrave MacMillan. ISBN: 978-3-030-41519-8. 

Journal articles

Childe S, Dubey R, Bryde D, Forupon C, Dwivedi Y & Blome C (2024) 'Alliances and digital transformation are crucial for benefiting from dynamic supply chain capabilities during times of crisis: A multi-method study' International Journal of Production Economics 269, DOI Open access
H Chen, S Liu, G Zhao, U Jayawickrama and X Wu (2024). An investigation of the critical factors that influence knowledge mobilisation success in agri-food supply chains. Contemporary Economics.
G Zhao, M Vazquez-Noguerol, S Liu and JC Prado-Prado (2023). Agri-food supply chain resilience strategies for preparing, responding, recovering, and adapting in relation to unexpected crisis: A cross-country comparative analysis from the COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Business Logistics. Open access publishing.
W Hutchinson, E Djafarova, S Liu and M Abdelrahman (2023). Investigating the Impact of Food Tourism Vlogger Entrepreneurs’ Language Characteristics on Audiences’ Attitude and Behaviours. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, 1355-2554. DOI: 10.1108/IJEBR-02-2023-0222.
G Zhao, H Chen, S Liu, D Dennehy, P Jones, C Lopez (2023). Analysis factors influencing knowledge mobilization crossing boundaries of SMEs involved in the agri-food supply chains: An integrated approach. Journal of Business Research, 164(2023)114006 (accepted 27 Apr 2023, published 10 May 2023 online, 
Zhao, G., Suklan, J., Liu, S., Lopez, C. and Hunter, L. (2023), "Does the transcultural problem really matter? An integrated approach to analyze barriers to eHealth SMEs’ development", International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.
G Zhao, S Liu, S Elgueta, JP Manzur, C Lopez and H Chen, 2022. Knowledge Mobilization for Agri-Food Supply Chain Decisions: Identification of Knowledge Boundaries and Categorization of Boundary-Spanning Mechanisms. International Journal of Decision Support System Technology, 15(2), online DOI: 0.4018/IJDSST.315640.
H Lu, G Zhao, S Liu, 2022. Integrating circular economy and industry 4.0 for sustainable supply chain management: a dynamic capability view. Production Planning & Control 35(2): 170-186. DOI: 10.1080/09537287.2022.2063198. Published open access:
Zubairu, N., Dinwoodie, J., Hunter, L. and Roh, S. (2021) “Supply chain strategies as drivers of financial performance in liquefied natural gas networks” Supply Chain Management an International Journal. Accepted for publication manuscript SCM-08-2020-0389.R2.
AE Alvarez, MMA Diaz, AO Bas and S Liu, 2021. Optimization Model to Support Sustainable Crop Planning for Reducing Unfairness among Farmers. Central European Journal of Operations Research, DOI: 10.1007/s10100-021-00751-8.
G Zhao, J Hernandez, S Elgueta, JP Manzur, S Liu, H Chen, C Lopez, D Kasturiratne and X Chen, 2021. The impact of knowledge governance mechanisms on supply chain performance: empirical evidence from agri-food industry. Production Planning and Control 32(15): 1313-1336. DOI: 10.1080/09537287.2020.1809023.
Liu, S., Zhao, G., Chen, H., Fernandez, A., Torres, D., Antonelli, L., Panetto, H. and Lezoche, M. (2021). Knowledge mobilisation crossing boundaries: a multi-perspective framework for agri-food value chains. Acta Hortic. 1311, 185-200 DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2021.1311.24.
G Zhao, S Liu, C Lopez, H Chen, H Lu, S Mangla, and S Elgueta, 2020. Risk analysis of the agri-food supply chain: A multi-method approach. International Journal of Production Research 58(16): 4851-4876. DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2020.1725684.
H Lu, S Kumar, J Hernandez, S Elgueta, G Zhao, S Liu and L Hunter 2020. Key operational and institutional factors for improving food safety: a case study from Chile. Production Planning and Control 32(14): 1248-1264 (DOI: 10.1080/09537287.2020.1796137).

Research impacts

  • Research impact video featuring regional farmers talking about the research impact from Dr Lise Hunter and Professor Shaofeng Liu’s research team: watch on Vimeo.
  • The “(Agricultural) Sector and Mapping Report” led by Professor Shaofeng Liu and Dr Lise Hunter submitted to the government, and available on Devon County Council page: view the report.
  • Intelligent decision making from farm to fork, featured in Sphere magazine