Welcome to the Business Model Design Lab

We research business model design in the context of digital transformation, sustainability and internationalisation.

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Cutting-edge Knowledge for Digital and Sustainable Business Models

Our mission is to empower businesses to capitalise on business model innovation in the context of digital transformation, sustainability and internationalisation. Our research focuses on business model patterns, integrates new methods such as machine learning and feeds into our research platform, the Smart Business Modeler. The Business Model Design Lab (BMDL) is a multi-disciplinary research group at the Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics in Portugal. The BMDL was founded in 2019 by René Bohnsack, Professor for Strategy and Innovation at the CLSBE.

Current Projects

Smart City Innovation Lab (SCIL)

SCIL’s mission is to empower businesses to create wellbeing in urban areas via big data, digital technologies, and sustainable values. Specifically,  SCIL consults companies on strategic issues related to the implementation of new technologies in urban areas.

SCIL was founded in 2016 by René Bohnsack and established since then collaborations with 50+ companies across Europe and has ongoing research projects with leading universities around the world (e.g. MIT, St. Gallen).


Smart Business Modeler

The failure to create a sound business model is a ‘top 10 reason’ for new ventures to fail.  The Smart Business Modeler is a business model research platform to provide an easier and faster way for anyone to translate their business idea into a viable and scalable business model.

As a one-stop solution for business model innovation and venture creation, Smart Business Modeler is empowering micro, small, medium and large businesses shift towards a more sustainable and digital economy.


BMx Business Model xploration

The research project “BMx”, Business Model xploration, is looking into the possibilities to (1) predict the success of a business model based on its description and context, i.e. team members and industry, and opportunities to (2) suggest patterns and similar firms based on business model configuration, both in related and unrelated industries.

BMx is a joint project between the Business Model Design Lab and the MIT Real Estate Innovation Lab.

DTx Digital Transformation Colab

The DTx Digital Transformation CoLab aims to address the new paradigms in products, services, and human machine interface and the consequent changes in industry and society. DTx projects address digitalisation in product design, systems development and manufacturing solutions.

The DTx CoLab is a non-profit organization with 18 participating entities, including three universities and 13 companies. BMDL will mainly contribute with knowledge on business models applied to the prospective projects.

Project DIANA

Project DIANA uses privacy-protecting 3D sensors to support people with disabilities in their daily life and during toilet visits. By combining sensors with machine learning algorithms, certain activities such as washing hands or siting down are automatically detected and the data generated helps nursing staff.

The role of the BMD Lab is to create a critical mass of research, development, and innovation at a European level in technologies and service for ageing well and to help create the market conditions for the industrial exploitation of healthy ageing products.

PITCH!© | The SDG-based Business Modeling Game

PITCH!© is supporting business model educators and facilitators to provide engaging, learner-centered, business modeling experiences by offering a hybrid- and experiential-learning approach to business model education and training.

Moderated and guided by a mentor bot that challenges learners to design viable and scalable business models centered on the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), PITCH!© is an online-offline serious card game, leveraging research-based content on the design of sustainable business models and business model patterns.

What We Offer

We engage in a wide range of activities. You find for each information on this website. However, if you miss something, please reach out to us.

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Play our Hybrid-Learning Business Modeling Game

Through a gamified and collaborative learning approach, PITCH! is augmenting traditional learning practices with web-based learning delivery, in a way that improves learners’ support, engagement, and outcomes.

You can order your game cards today or download, print and cut them yourself!

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