MIT's Center for Transportation and Logistics (MIT-CTL) and LOGyCA, a Colombia-based logistics company, have signed an agreement worth $19 million creating the Center for Latin-American Logistics Innovation (CLLI), the leading research and education center for supply chain and logistics in Latin America.
CLLI will join MIT-CTL and the Zaragoza Logistics Center in Spain as the third member of MIT's growing international network of centers dedicated to supply chain education and research that now spans the United States, Europe and Latin America.
CLLI will help Latin American businesses and individuals compete in local, regional and global markets by delivering leading-edge research, technology and educational programs in logistics, transportation and supply chain management. The Center will also become a major force in academia within Latin America and across the globe.
LOGyCA, which boasts the most robust supply chain technology infrastructure in the region, will house the CLLI in its Bogota, Colombia, headquarters. CLLI researchers and students will have access to the infrastructure and knowledge base that helped Colombia establish the largest collaborative technology platform in Latin America.
CLLI will also connect with its counterparts in the United States through MIT-CTL in Cambridge, MA, and in Europe through the Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) in Spain. The partnership between MIT-CTL and ZLC, launched in 2003, has created a highly regarded educational program and continues to play a key role in the economic growth of the Aragon region and the success of the PLAZA Logistics Park in Zaragoza.
MIT Professor of Engineering Systems and Director of MIT-CTL Yossi Sheffi said that launching the CLLI extends the reach of both MIT-CTL and the ZLC, and enhances their ability to meet the ever-growing demand for truly global supply chain education and research programs.
"Globalization continues to bring new opportunities for growth - and immense challenges. To stay on the cutting edge and help companies keep pace with these changes, we are expanding our unique network of learning centers where faculty, students, researchers and companies across continents collaborate on supply chain and logistics projects that have global impact," said Sheffi, who is also Director of the MIT Engineering Systems Division.
Rafael Florez, Director of LOGyCA, said the creation of CLLI is an excellent opportunity to strengthen the development of Colombian and Latin American logistics, a well-known strategic component of competitiveness.
"By joining the MIT-CTL network, CLLI will actively participate in the development of global educational and research programs. It will also give CLLI the opportunity to develop solutions that reflect the unique logistics and supply chain challenges in our economies. Latin American business leaders will have access to world-class academic programs that will contribute to improving value chains through the continent. This has always been LOGyCA's mission: leadership in innovation for value networks," said Florez.
The partnership between MIT-CTL and LOGyCA is based on a 10-year agreement, which officially begins on March 1, 2008. The $19-million deal includes a $4 million gift from LOGyCA to the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 6, 2008 (download PDF).