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MIT launches global network of supply chain centers

MIT Global SCALE Network spans North America, Latin America and Europe
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Becky Schneck Allen
Phone: 617-253-4592
MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics

Today the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Center for Transportation and Logistics (MIT-CTL) announced the creation of the MIT Global SCALE Network, an international alliance of leading research and education centers dedicated to the development of supply chain and logistics excellence through innovation.

The Global SCALE (Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence) Network spans North America, Latin America and Europe, with plans to expand into Asia and Africa. The network currently includes the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT-CTL) in Cambridge, Mass.; the Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) in Zaragoza, Spain; and the Center for Latin-American Logistics Innovation (CLI) in Bogotá, Colombia.

The network will allow faculty, researchers, students and affiliated companies from all three centers to pool their expertise and collaborate on projects that will create supply chain and logistics innovations with global applications and help companies to compete in an increasingly complex business environment.

"Today's supply chains stretch around the world and back again, requiring successful organizations to have an on-the-ground understanding of the logistics, supply chain and general business challenges and opportunities in every region. The Global SCALE Network will provide that global context through research projects that will literally be taking place around the world," said MIT-CTL Director Yossi Sheffi, a professor of engineering systems at MIT and director of the Engineering Systems Division.

The network will also enhance supply chain and logistics education at each center. Graduate students at MIT-CTL, ZLC and CLI 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 an educational exchange, traveling to other network centers and learning alongside other network students.

The Global SCALE Network will build on the already successful, five-year partnership between MIT-CTL and the Zaragoza Logistics Center. The ZLC was established in 2003 by MIT-CTL, the University of Zaragoza, the government of Aragón, industry partners, and the PLAZA logistics park in Zaragoza. This collaboration has resulted in the creation of a highly-regarded supply chain masters program at the ZLC, and continues to play a key role in the economic growth of the Aragon region in Spain and the success of PLAZA, the largest logistics park in Europe.

"The ZLC and its partnership with MIT-CTL has put Zaragoza on the world map. We believe the MIT Global SCALE Network will take this successful collaboration to the next level. By bringing together thought leaders from around the world in the supply chain and logistics field, the network will greatly enhance all of the centers and the innovative research and educational programs we provide," said Professor Santiago Kraiselburd, Director of ZLC.

The other network member--CLI--was launched just two months ago through a $19 million agreement between MIT-CTL and Colombia-based logistics company LOGyCA to create the leading research and education center for supply chain and logistics in Latin America. The center is located in LOGyCA's 5-acre Bogotá headquarters, which boasts one of the most robust supply chain technology infrastructures in the region, offering virtual and real environments in which to test, adapt and develop supply chain technologies.

"By joining the MIT Global SCALE Network, CLI will actively participate in the creation of global educational and research programs and have 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 throughout the continent," said Rafael Flórez, LOGyCA Director.

Today's announcement was made during MIT-CTL's annual Crossroads conference, The Next 10 Years in Supply Chain, held on March 27 on the MIT campus by MIT-CTL Director Yossi Sheffi, ZLC Director Santiago Kraiselburd, and LOGyCA Director Rafael Flórez.

About MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics (MIT-CTL)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, US
Contact: Becky Schneck Allen, Director of Communications, 617-253-4592,

MIT-CTL has been a world leader in supply chain management research and education for more than three decades. The Center's world-renowned research programs directly involve more than 75 faculty and research staff from a wide range of academic disciplines, as well as researchers in various affiliate organizations around the world. CTL collaborates with industry through it's Corporate Outreach Program, which turns the Center's innovative research into market-winning commercial applications. And in education, MIT is consistently ranked first among business programs in logistics and supply chain management. Established in 1998, MIT-CTL's Master of Engineering in Logistics (MLOG) program was the first program of its kind, offering an intensive supply chain and logistics degree in just nine months.

About Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC)
University of Zaragoza, Zaragoza, Spain
Contact: Cristina Tabuenca, Marketing Manager, +34 976 077 611,

The Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC) is a research institute associated with the University of Zaragoza in Spain and designated by the Ministry of Education and Science in Spain to coordinate CNC-LOGISTICA, the National Center of Excellence in Logistics & Supply Chain Management. The ZLC partnered with the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics in 2003 to develop world class education and research in logistics and supply chain management. Research initiatives in the MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program leverage the combined resources of the MIT laboratories and a large-scale industrial laboratory in Zaragoza to develop cutting-edge concepts and technologies. The ZLC also offers masters, doctoral, and executive education programs, taught in both English and Spanish, to students from around the world.

About Center for Latin-American Logistics Innovation (CLI)
LOGyCA Foundation, Bogota, Colombia
Contact: María del Mar Hermida V., Public Relations,

The Center for Latin-American Logistics Innovation (CLI) is the leading research and education center for supply chain and logistics in Latin America. It was launched in January 2008 by Colombia-based logistics company LOGyCA and the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (MIT-CTL). CLI's goal is to 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.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 2, 2008 (download PDF).

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