The Center for Next Generation Logistics, launched late last month, is a virtual education program that will work closely with government agencies and industry to perform cutting-edge research in logistics and supply chain systems. The objective is to translate research into commercialization.
The partnership is between the faculty of Engineering at National University of Singapore (NUS Engineering), and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech).
The Center will assist Singapore as the country strives to stay at the forefront of supply chain and logistics innovation, especially with the nation’s initiative to develop the Tuas Maritime hub.
“People are living longer, and the growth of the middle class and their discretionary income continues, especially in Southeast Asia,” explains Associate Professor Lee Loo Hay, principal investigator with the Center.
“These changes affect the nature and number of goods manufactured and transported, for example, healthcare products and services and the need for high quality cold supply chains,” Hay adds. “The rapid embrace of social media, new customer demands, and the challenge of cross-border e-commerce, also results in a greater need for multi-channel logistics, logistics for mass customization, and anticipatory logistics.”
The Center will help to identify the potential and existing industries that can bring sustained and high economic growth to Singapore’s economy, as well as to develop innovative logistics and supply chain concepts and infrastructure that will strategically support the activities of these industries.
The Center will receive S$1.2 million in seed funding from NUS Engineering and Georgia Tech over a two-year period, and it expects to grow from the current staff strength of five full-time researchers to 25 by 2018.
For a start, the research will focus on two areas:
• Pre-competitive, mission-focused knowledge discovery such as models for evaluating the value of information in supply chains; and
• Company-specific research for enhanced competitiveness.
The Center will conduct use-inspired research and has completed three projects with industry partners. It has collaborated with DHL-Singapore, SDV Logistics and Zalora Marketplace to address the challenges they are facing, which include how to conduct data analysis to improve operation efficiency, a feasibility study of automation technology, and cross border logistics.
The new Center will also provide logistics and supply chain systems research opportunities to nurture students who will become members of the next generation supply chain and logistics workforce.