Malaysia, the largest center for international trade and manufacturing in Southeast Asia, is partnering with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT CTL) to create a global center for Supply Chain education and research. The joint initiative will build and develop the Malaysia Institute for Supply Chain Innovation (MISI), a world-class center located in the city of Shah Alam, about 15 miles outside of Kuala Lumpur, and home to the largest and busiest port in Malaysia, Port Klang. The institute will leverage Southeast Asia's growing position in world commerce and MIT CTL's experience as the pre-eminent center for knowledge creation. The signing ceremony took place today in Putrajaya, the federal administrative center of Malaysia located near Kuala Lumpur.
"The government of Malaysia is exceedingly pleased about this partnership with MIT," says Najib Tun Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia. "Part of our latest five-year plan is to position Malaysia as a global leader in logistics and supply chain management, stimulate economic growth, and greatly enhance Southeast Asia's position in the global marketplace. This new institute is key to reaching our goal."
The building that will house MISI has already been identified and the plans for renovations are under way. The MISI will feature an independent, stand-alone degree-granting academic institution established under Malaysian law. The institute will attract students, faculty, supply chain and logistics experts, and corporations from around the world to Southeast Asia's burgeoning supply chain and logistics industry.
"Our experience in other countries has shown that creating a world-class institution of this type in conjunction with large-scale logistics investments can have a powerful positive effect on the economic development of a region," says Eric Grimson, Chancellor of MIT. "Malaysia's forward-thinking government has laid out powerful new academic and research initiatives making it the ideal location for our newest partnership. We look forward to joining Malaysia in this next phase of their evolution."
MISI will join MIT's growing international network of centers known as the Global SCALE (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence) Network. Dedicated to supply chain education and research, the Global SCALE Network now spans the North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia; with MISI joining the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (Cambridge, MA), the Zaragoza Logistics Center (Zaragoza, Spain), and the Center for Latin American Logistics Innovation (Bogota, Columbia). The Global SCALE Network will continue to expand throughout the world.
"Our aim is to provide a source of top talent for the growing number of major companies in Southeast Asia and for the international supply chain community," said Dato' Seri Mohamed Khaled bin Nordin, Minister of Higher Education, Malaysia. "MISI faculty and students will collaborate with other leading academic institutions and member companies from all four MIT Global SCALE Network centers."
MISI will open in the spring of 2011 with its first Masters students matriculating in the fall of 2012. The master's degree will be modeled after the MIT Supply Chain Management Program which grants the Master of Engineering in Logistics degree. There are also plans for a doctoral degree as well as a deep portfolio of professional courses for executives, symposia, short courses, and extended on-site events and activities to reinforce MISI's connections with corporate partners.
"Today's multinational companies have different product flows than they did even five years ago," says Yossi Sheffi, Director MIT CTL. "Graduate students at MIT Global SCALE Network centers around the globe will not only benefit from the shared knowledge created through this collaboration, but will also participate in the Network's global research projects and take part in MIT's global educational exchange, traveling to other Network centers and learning alongside other Network students. In essence, our SCALE Network educational model now mirrors the global structure of the multinational companies that hire our graduates."
In addition, MISI will be host to the Global Supply Chain Summit, a first-of-its-kind event in the region that will take place on July 19th. Leading academics from top institutions around the world such as Harvard Business School, London Business School, MIT, and Stanford will convene at the Shah Alam Convention Centre for a one day conference that will explore the future of global supply chain management.