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Towards a Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - SELIS (Towards a Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-08-31

The SELIS project is part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant Agreement: No 690588) addressing the Call MG-6.3-2015 Common Communication and Navigation platforms for pan-European logistics Applications, and it was initiated on September 1st, 2016 and finished in August 31st, 2019. SELIS embraced a wide spectrum of logistics perspectives and created a unifying operational and strategic business innovation agenda for Green Logistics, with a clear path towards reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions

In an industry still marked by territoriality and insufficient collaboration, SELIS (Shared European Logistics Intelligent Information Space), a €17 million flagship European Commission-funded research project, was set up to address the challenges associated with siloed logistics chains, more specifically (1) to improve information sharing between logistics stakeholders, (2) to provide a platform that is easy to use by companies of all sizes, enabling a plug-and-play approach to sharing and analysing supply chain data, and (3) to facilitate real-time availability of information.

Supply Chain Community Nodes (SCN) are provided in SELIS to support quick and easy instantiation of Collaboration Logistics Models used by Logistics Communities. Built on IBM Cloud Computing fundamentals and using open standards and state of the art technologies, the SCN supports T&L Communities to (Fig.1):
1. Connect - allowing data to be collected from heterogeneous sources thus creating a single data-sharing intelligence space in the Cloud, which physically consists of distributed connected data sources from SC actors. Connectivity tools include intelligent adaptors including translators to a common SCN data model; a publish/subscribe system for many-to-many communication of events with the ability to restrict who can subscribe to what data artefacts; authentication and monitoring services. A Single-sign-on federated-enabled authorization system is provided for services or data-sources, such that participants can deploy services via Secure APIs, on the basis that SELIS is designed to support SOA and Micro-Services deployment for SCN-based applications.
2. Share aggregated data – allowing connected data to be aggregated to provide a shared situational picture linked to a knowledge graph and event log. Where appropriate, shared data from the event log is transferred to a blockchain ledger thus increasing trust levels on the use of the data with full traceability, auditability and immutability underpinning SC data transparency principles.
3. Optimise operations - through analysing the available aggregated data using the SELIS Big Data Analytics module offering generic analytics algorithms in the form of “Recipes” that can be easily configured to execute typical optimisation operations such as matching transport demand and available resources and route optimisation. Predictive and optimisation analytics can be also used to cover smart contracts associated with route and mode decisions in synchromodal transport.
The SELIS project has built a scalable and replicable platform for logistics applications, allowing a standardised exchange of data between any number of users in a supply chain community. Operations can be optimised using SELIS Big Data Analytics module with built-in algorithms in the form of ‘Recipes’. Such provision of pre-packaged industry knowledge and predictive analytics matches transport demand with available resources, accurately estimates cargo’s arrival time, optimises routes and ultimately increases operational efficiency. The SELIS platform is developed as a network of Supply Chain Community Nodes (SCNs) that are designed for ease of SC configurability and customisability.

The following main components of the SCN defined below, have been developed using open source tools and techniques and are available in the public domain (link to GitHub):
1. Node Management (CLMS): A GUI-based configuration and management tool for the SCN.
2. Pub/Sub (TuD): A secure content-based publish-subscribe system for message exchanges between different logistics providers.
3. Big Data Analytics Module (ICCS): A generic cloud-enabled distributed big-data framework offering ML and analytics capabilities over logistics data.
4. Knowledge Graph (VLTN): A modelling framework (GUI + API) for describing logistics ecosystems / communities as knowledge graphs. The Shared Knowledge Graph (SKG) is based on open standards such as UBL 2.0 and open source data management technologies
5. Data authorization Module (ICCS): A Role/User Based authorization/authentication framework for secure access to logistics data and Recipes execution.
6. Monitoring Module (IBM): An IT infrastructure monitoring tool reporting on SCN components health status. A microservices orchestration that can be deployed in order to produce a cohesive SCN operating stack deployed against the backdrop of a customised security model.

With guidance from the SELIS Advisory Board and the commercial members of the consortium, the project explored 4 strands of activity for commercial exploitation.
- Product deployment within the Living Labs
- Niche Product deployment in a chosen area (Supply Chain Finance)
- Accelerators in broader commercial deployment
- Support for further development with a structured open-source approach
SELIS’s core innovation is a cloud-based solution leveraging IBM cloud technologies and best practices, delivering a central logistics intelligence information space in Europe, accessible for the transport sector, supply chain (SC) networks, as well as its actors, users, and public authorities. Other compelling aspects of SELIS’s innovation include :
- Sector-specific SC collaboration models to unify and consolidate data sharing and associated SC collaboration for EU SC actors
- Publish and subscribe data sharing technology with ownership and moderation of the data access controls exclusively with the data owners
- SC Privacy and encryption models for all data in flight and at rest, and respecting GDPR and EU/US legislative privacy principals
- SC business intelligence dashboards derived through ML, predictive analytics, Knowledge Graph representation of SC dynamics, and optimisation intelligence in support of greener, more efficient, optimised and streamlined logistics
- Plug and play technologies to realise the immediate business value and intelligence of SC actors.
The consortium successfully filed six (6) patents at EU PO, US PTO and Canada PO, with three of them already awarded in France.

SELIS SCN has been proven to be the ultimate solution for resolving the problem of silos of transportation information, enhancing supply chain awareness, introducing measurable operational efficiencies and consequently improving strategic decision making. Furthermore, it supports the establishment of new synergies, with ultimate goal to increase business performance at operational and strategic level.
SELIS Living Labs have validated project’s positive impact in: Enhancing Supply Chain visibility, Increasing Load Factors, Increasing Modal Shift to Barges and Rail, Reducing retailers/supplier stock levels and stock-outs, Reducing manual effort for designing and monitoring the supply chain, Reducing the Working Capital cost, Having more fluid cross-border movements and providing more accurate ETA predictions.
Collaborative Logistics Models in the SCN Concept