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Sabancı University and UND start strategic cooperation in logistics

In a new university-industry partnership endeavor, Sabancı University will establish a Logistics Lab in strategic cooperation with the Association of International Forwarders (UND). UND will provide numerical data and documentation to data analysis in the Logistics Lab and develop project ideas to improve the sector. UND will also develop projects for increasing the competitive strength of the Turkish logistics industry and create new research agenda items.

Sabancı University and the Association of International Forwarders (UND) will establish a Logistics Lab in strategic cooperation. The signature ceremony for the Logistics Lab, which will be located in the UND headquarters, took place on Friday, December 25, 2015 at the Minerva Palas with Sabancı University President Professor Nihat Berker and UND Board of Directors Chair Çetin Nuhoğlu.

Logistics is the lifeblood of civilization

In introductory remarks, Sabancı University President Professor Nihat Berker said, “People and goods always strive to travel from one location to another in the most efficient way possible for life and continued progress.  Which means that transport and logistics are the lifeblood of civilization.  As Sabancı University, we are delighted to cooperate with UND to create this platform together."

The importance of logistics in Turkey and the world

Sabancı University School of Management Dean Professor Füsun Ülengin explained that the Logistics Lab would play a leading part in pointing out the key issues in transforming transport to logistics in Turkey and improving competition in logistics, ensuring the information and data integration necessary for solutions, and finding constructive solutions by consulting with the companies in the industry, thus paving the way for critical research projects.

 

Professor Ülengin discussed the importance of logistics in Turkey and the world. Professor Ülengin explained that the Commission of Europe explicitly stated that "freight logistics is the lubricant in the gears of the EU economy" in the Freight Logistics Action Plan issued in 2007, continuing "The Commission emphasizes that the effectiveness of logistics services is one of the most critical and definitive components in the 2020 growth strategies to help the EU emerge from the global crisis and become a growing economy once more."

The importance of logistics in export strategy

Professor Füsun Ülengin discussed the importance of logistics in export strategy, noting that the rapid growth trend in the logistics sector carried immense potential for growth and assisting Turkey in reaching a number of economic objectives. Ülengin noted that the Ministry of Economy laid out objectives for the transport and logistics industries in the "Strengthening logistics infrastructure to improve global competitiveness" chapter of the 2023 Export Strategy, and was planning to implement five projects until 2023 to help reach those objectives.

The logistics sector provides 500,000 jobs together with its complementing industries

UND Chair Çetin Nuhoğlu noted that the logistics sector provides 500,000 jobs together with its complementing industries, and has a lateral effect that directly influences the competitive ability of almost all sectors, and explained that important topics and responsibilities were assigned to UND in the 10th Five-Year Development Plan. He said that among the 6 components and 80 objectives in the Action Plan for Transformation from Transport to Logistics were providing support for research and development in the logistics industry, creating sector-specific R&D funds, completing national transport and logistics master plans, and creating a national transport statistics portal and database, all of which require intense university-industry cooperation.

"Process Synchronization and Streamlining at Border Gates between Turkey and Neighbors"  

Nuhoğlu explained that "Process Synchronization and Streamlining at Border Gates between Turkey and Neighbors" would be the first project to be undertaken in the Logistics Lab that will be established in the UND headquarters, and implementation would begin at the Kapıkule and Kapitan Andreevo border gates between Turkey and Bulgaria in January 2016.

Sabancı University School of Management faculty member Associate Professor Burçin Bozkaya explained the relationship between the Logistics Lab and the Sabancı University Behavioral Analytics & Visualization Lab, the first and only of its kind in Turkey. Associate Professor Bozkaya said, “We intend to utilize our competencies and capacity in the Behavioral Analytics & Visualization Lab to explore scenarios specific to the logistics industry that contain big data, and share the findings with our stakeholders. We could, for instance, analyze the data of a company for operational efficiency and more effective use of service resources for developing prediction models for transaction volume and capacity utilization. The cooperation between the two labs will generate publications that make an academic contribution while developing new processes, products and services as well as taking action to improve customer satisfaction and operational efficiency, which will add value to logistics companies and the industry in general."

Speeches were followed by the signing ceremony. Attending the signing ceremony were the speakers as well as UND Board of Directors Vice Chairs Ali Çiçekli, Murat Baykara and Cavit Değirmenci, UND Board of Directors Secretary General Nagihan Soylu, UND CEO Fatih Şener, UND Deputy CEO Evren Bingöl and UND Executive Board Member Erman Ereke.

About the Logistics Lab

As part of the strategic cooperation, UND will provide numerical data and documentation to data analysis in the Logistics Lab and develop project ideas to improve the sector while developing projects for increasing the competitive strength of the Turkish logistics industry and creating new research agenda items.  The Logistics Lab will play a leading part in pointing out the key issues in transforming transport to logistics in Turkey and improving competition in logistics, ensure the information and data integration necessary for solutions, and find constructive solutions by consulting with the companies in the industry, thus paving the way for critical research projects.

The Academic President of the Lab will be Sabancı University Nanotechnology Research and Application Center (SUNUM) Director and Research and Graduate Policy Director Volkan Özgüz. The Industry President will be UND Chair Ö. Çetin Nuhoğlu. Sabancı University School of Management Dean Professor Füsun Ülengin will be the director of the Lab. The co-director of the Lab will be UND CEO Fatih Şener, and industry coordinator will be UND Executive Board Member Erman Ereke.

In addition to Sabancı University faculty, the Lab will host faculty from Doğuş University and Istanbul Technical University as research  

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