Businesses and government agencies with significant logistics operations can now collaborate on R&D with industry peers and Virginia universities through the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS). CCALS was formed to help logistics professionals cut costs while accelerating new logistics-related discoveries.
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell announced the formation of this collaboration which was modeled after the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM). The idea is that business and government members will join with university experts to explore and solve logistics challenges. Studies show that between 20% and 50% of costs are tied up in logistics. The principals believe a collaborative environment that brings multiple perspectives and talents to bear on shared logistics challenges can streamline and strengthen operations and improve products and services.
University partners in CCALS include Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University.
“Virginia’s universities represent a powerful economic development engine for the Commonwealth, especially when they come together in collaborative support of industry objectives,” said Governor McDonnell. “CCALS capitalizes on an emerging logistics hub in central Virginia that includes Fort Lee and a transportation infrastructure that connects to the world.”
A combination of funding from the Commonwealth of Virginia and member universities established CCALS. Annual membership fees, contracts and grants obtained from federal and state government agencies will fund the organization’s research and development activities going forward.
CCALS’ first industry members include two Virginia logistics specialists, Prince George-based Logistics Management Resources (LMR) and McLean-based LMI. The companies have signed letters of intent and are working through final membership details.
LMR specializes in worldwide federal government logistics services, supporting installation operations at home and overseas, as well as agency management and business functions. It provides information technology services, project management, logistics support, training and human resources services worldwide. At Fort Lee in Central Virginia, home of the U.S. Army’s Logistics University, the company provides logistics training support.
“We want to provide logistics support services at home and abroad that are cost efficient and operationally effective,” said Michael Williams, chief operating officer at LMR. “CCALS provides the forum for exchanging ideas and a toolbox for solving problems that will improve how we serve our government and commercial clients.”
LMI, CCALS’s other charter industry member, is a government consulting firm specializing in defense, intelligence, healthcare, energy and environment, homeland security, and civil government. As a not-for-profit organization, LMI supports more than 40 federal agencies and all branches of the military and intelligence community.
“LMI is committed to supporting the growth of the Commonwealth of Virginia’s workforce, especially in Central Virginia, where we have an opportunity to leverage the area’s wealth of functional and academic expertise to create new solutions in logistics for both the public and private sectors,” said LMI President and CEO Nelson M. Ford.
CCALS will also focus on workforce development opportunities. Technology, engineering, logistics and math students will be offered internship opportunities through CCALS’ university affiliates. CCALS industry members will have access to the region’s logistics workforce, anchored by operations at Fort Lee and the local presence of Amazon.com, UPS and other logistics-related businesses.