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The MaBE (Multiagent Business Environment) project is a R&D project in the 5th framework program of the European Union. Its primary objective is the development of an open, agent-based environment to enable dynamic and automated combination of multiple, complementary and alternative services between different users and providers along the whole value chain. The industrial grounding is ensured by user requirements from industrial end-users in the project, all being league players in their respective business areas. We motivate our research objectives and describe the basic concepts of the project, highlighting the holonic aspects.