Europe’s economy and trade can be enhanced through optimised logistics and better chain management. The EU-funded SOCOOL@EU (Sustainable Organisation between clusters of optimised logistics @ Europe) project supported research-driven regional clusters throughout Europe. It worked on advancing collaboration in the field, furthering research and development, and implementing joint projects in an effort to achieve logistics optimisation. To achieve its aims, the project team analysed logistics and transport clusters with the support of online questionnaires and in-depth research. It articulated a joint action plan which detailed six fields of joint action and 11 project proposals within these fields. Specifically, the project’s joint action plan involved the creation of an executive master programme in cooperation with certain universities in order to exchange knowledge among regions and potential partners. It also included mentoring less-developed regions and the development of a mentoring action plan. One of the most important project results was the organisation of regional workshops that gathered local stakeholders interested in collaborating in the implementation of the SoCool@EU joint action plan. The workshops collected the stakeholders’ feedback and points of view on the cooperation areas. Specifically, seven workshops were held in Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands, addressing topics such as logistics innovation, business opportunities for innovative logistics, green supply chain, urban logistics and intelligent hubs. The project team also participated in logistics events in Denmark, France, Serbia and the US. The final SoCool@EU conference, organised jointly with two other logistics events, took place in Belgium in 2014 under the banner ‘2014 European Forum of Logistics Clusters - Together for competitiveness’. With over 250 participants registered, the event attracted expert speakers who discussed the latest on cluster developments, supply chain strategies and innovation in the field. The insights and networking resulting from workshops and final conference have positively contributed to making the sector more efficient.
Logistics, chain management, clusters, green supply chain, competitiveness