Skip to main content

Transport Clusters Development and Implementation Measures of a Six-Region Strategic Joint Action Plan for Knowledge-based Regional Innovation

Periodic Report Summary 2 - LOG4GREEN (Transport Clusters Development and Implementation Measures of a Six-Region Strategic Joint Action Plan for Knowledge-based Regional Innovation)

Project Context and Objectives:
The LOG4GREEN activities concentrated around 4 defined objectives in the Transport/Logistics sector and aimed at boosting regional competitiveness and growth: (1) to strengthen integrative research, (2) to foster interregional knowledge exchange between the triple helix stakeholders, (3) to optimise education and training of (young) experts in the realm of future logistics innovation systems, (4) to enhance the competitive performance of the European logistics clusters in global context. Logistics clusters of six partner regions - Carinthia (AT), Ruhr (DE), Wallonia (BE), Normandy (FR), Istanbul (TR), Odessa (UA) - joined forces to elaborate Analyses, RTD Strategies, Benchmark Studies, and Human Potential Concepts, as well as to commence implementation measures of their Joint Action Plan.
In the SWOT analyses, major issues and key strategic innovative environments, matching platforms and specific technologies were displayed. As a result, LOG4GREEN developed a Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Agenda (SIRA) in order to promote the integration of research on sustainable logistics and to engage business and governance partners for further innovation activities. The SIRA-matrix displays the overlaps of the two dimensions “Topics” (referring to “research areas”) and “Influencing Factors”, and aims at the integration of both dimensions in order to derive appropriate measures and a roadmap for potential developments of specific technologies, new applications and operational conditions.
The global LOG4GREEN benchmarking process compares the SIRA with the innovation systems and research agendas of 15 world-class logistics clusters in North America and Asia. The SIRA was further discussed and deepened in the framework of two LOG4GREEN schemes (i) Mutual Mentoring Exchange, and (ii) International SIRA Facilitation Workshops. Within the mentoring process, the LOG4GREEN network was further extended by systematic knowledge exchange with other logistics regions. New or immature collaborative relations were successfully initiated or intensified by conducting delegation visits to the selected logistics regions within Europe. Three SIRA workshops have been conducted. Participants identified important research trajectories in the field of logistics, and deepened the collaboration network on “Emerging Concepts of Logistics”. The developed Joint Action Plan – as well as the six regional action plans - was a conclusive result of both, SWOTS and SIRA. The dimensions of future cooperation integrate regional triple helix stakeholders and focus on (i) development of education & training programmes, (ii) joint research projects, (iii) joint business development, (iv) cross-regional policy consultation processes, (v) European-level network building. 19 JAP Regional Collaboration Workshops were organized with a total of 518 participants, representing industry, research and public authority.
One special focus was on Human potentials in the interdisciplinary science of transport logistics. General outlines of a summer school concept were developed; the concept shall be broadened and implemented in project regions. Partners have exchanged on regional R&D capacities by inviting both young and experienced researchers to the numerous workshops and study tours. A “Collective Index” keeps a common database of relevant young and/or experienced stakeholders within the triple helix.
The project measures concerning a European Meta-Cluster platform contributed to the OpenENLoCC network as well as to the ETP ALICE Working Groups. Suggestions for the structure of the Mirror Group were elaborated. Furthermore, the consortium organised workshops and conferences involving the mentoring regions, participated in international conferences, networking events and fairs. In the LOG4GREEN final conference three European projects comprising 13 logistics regions and more than 30 partner institutions jointly hosted the First European Forum of Logistic Clusters 2014 in Brussels.

Project Results:
Regional Level SWOT Analyses of the six regions: major issues and key strategic innovative environments, matching platforms and specific technologies are displayed. Both, internal and external factors are brought into correlation in order to create reasonable strategies and projects.
RTDI- (Research and Technical Development and Innovation) Atlas: describes the regionally developed RTDI competencies by providing an overview on regional logistics infrastructure-related best practice models. Scenarios for logistics systems solutions regarding the region-specific infrastructures and economic conditions were presented.
Joint Inter-regional Strategic Interdisciplinary Research Agenda (SIRA): was developed in order to promote the integration of research on sustainable logistics and to engage business and governance partners in discussions for further innovation activities and logistics-relevant education systems. Based on research “topics” the SIRA refers to the regional and international levels, reaches every concerned target groups coming from the triple helix.
Review on Research Agendas in International Context: gives an overview on 15 different research-driven logistics clusters & regions in North America and in Asia. It compares the LOG4GREEN SIRA with the innovation systems and research agendas of several world-class logistics clusters.
Joint Action Plan: collects to major trends in research and technical development, priorities and specific measures for short- to midterm implementation, best practice models and development of cooperation projects. Regional best practices and needs were matched in order to define promising and relevant topics for knowledge transfer and collaboration.
19 JAP Regional Collaboration Workshops: were organized by the project partners with a total of 518 participants, perfectly representing industry, research and public authority.
11 Best Practice Study Tours: were organized in 7 different regions. Regional representatives who took part to these tours came from the consortium regions as well as from outside the consortium.
Actualize Human Potentials in Transport and Logistics: General outlines of a summer school concept were developed and presented in consortium meetings Le Havre, Vienna and Istanbul.
Benchmarking the Regional Logistics Innovation Systems: Two in-depth benchmarking studies of selected research-driven. Topics as defined in the SIRA (slightly adjusted to the selected regions) were addressed by interviews following a pre-defined guideline to assure comparable and sound results.
Mutual Mentoring Exchange joining European Expertise: the LOG4GREEN network was further extended by systematic knowledge exchange with other logistics regions, which had been chosen by each LOG4GREEN partner in order to match specific, current and actual regional needs. New or immature collaborative relations were successfully initiated or intensified by conducting delegation visits to the selected logistics regions within Europe. The mentoring process initiated through the delegation visits was understood as a process of mutual qualification of regional logistics innovation systems.
3 International SIRA Facilitation Workshops have been conducted in order to present the SIRA. They opened up opportunities to widen the logistic clusters and logistics research network within Europe.
Development of Meta-Cluster structures: Suggestions for the structure of the Mirror Group was elaborated. Joint organisation of workshops and conferences involving the mentoring regions, the participation in international conferences as speakers and the participation in networking events and fairs. The LOG4GREEN final conference: three European projects comprising 13 logistics regions and more than 30 partner institutions jointly hosted the First European Forum of Logistic Clusters 2014.

Potential Impact:
All activities on international level (three SIRA workshops and the Final Conference) have been organised with due consideration for the broad logistics cluster network which had been established through mentoring activities. Different measures were applied in order to ensure a wide range of awareness raising among triple helix stakeholders: One SIRA workshop was carried out in a business environment (international logistics fair “transport logistic” in Munich), one within a European research forum for logistics (TRA, Paris). The third workshop addressed a broad target group of researchers including the mentoring regions.
For the final conference, the chosen approach of a collaborative organisation by the three projects LOG4GREEN, SoCool@Eu and LOG2020 ensured the active involvement of a representative cross section of European logistic stakeholders from research, business and public authority.
Joint organisation of the conference ensured that a new format had to be developed which was independent from the “identities” of the three involved projects. The success of the conference has clearly shown that the new format on European level, a forum organised by cluster managements of cooperating European logistic regions, has great potential to be institutionalised (under discussion).
The project reflexion process followed the SIRA topics: supply chain coordination and collaboration, urban logistics, e-commerce, sustainable and green logistics, inter- & syncromodality and education & training. Through the online survey, an assessment of future trends and important topics for inter-cluster collaboration on European level was achieved.
The results of the survey have been requested by the ETP ALICE as important input to the strategic process of the further platform development. Thus, the reflexion process contributes to the future activities towards organisation and consolidation of a European meta-platform for logistics clusters.
The “Report on awareness and wider societal implications” (D6.7) has shown that LOG4GREEN contributes to a change of mind-sets in medium-term and has reached a broad range of target groups. The project has given impetus regarding (i) research integration for green logistics, (ii) trans-regional innovation dynamics, (iii) international experts promotion and (iv) cluster competitiveness in global context. LOG4GREEN has actively contributed input and network capacities to the ETP ALICE, bridging the gap between European level and regional awareness raising activities.
PhD students from different regions have been involved in project activities, as e.g. establishment of a summer school, training of young expert in logistics and participation in the Ukrainian Logistics Olympiad, and student’s conferences. A student workshop has been carried out at the Odessa National Maritime Academy, Ukraine and as part of a seminar within the Master‘s Program Sustainable Urban Technologies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany.
The project has strengthened an interdisciplinary approach involving abroad range of disciplines from economics, engineering, mathematics and computer sciences, as well as town and country planning to political sciences; philosophy, and systems analysis.
Each region has developed recommendations for policy and decision makers. In some cases, this has been supported by visits to European-level best practice regions.
LOG4GREEN has achieved tangible impact on the development of cluster structures in specific consortium regions (Carinthia, Odessa) and on cluster internationalisation (Normandy, Wallonia, Ruhr Area). The cooperation between logistics experts and cluster initiatives, the involvement of public and private utilities and the cooperation between actors among the respective European regions was strongly supported by LOG4GREEN throughout the project lifetime and will continue in the frame of the ETP Alice.

List of Websites:
www.log4green.eu