Compendium of Good Practices

The FRAMELOG project aims at the development of the “knowledge triangle” by linking higher education institutions (HEIs), research organizations and business in the field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (L&SCM). One of the outputs from the FRAMELOG project implementation is the Compendium of good practices in the field of “knowledge triangle” in HEIs. Its objective is to highlight examples of good practice in the “knowledge triangle” approach, including details regarding the methods applied and results achieved. The Compendium is also considered as a basis for the dissemination of the “knowledge triangle” culture in the academic sector for programmes in the field of Logistics and Supply Chain Management.

The development of the Compendium encompassed the following activities: defining criteria for collecting and selecting good practices, a good practice development framework and a template for the good practices description; analysis and selection of existing examples of good practices; description and thorough analysis of the selected most relevant cases.

Good Practices in the field of “Knowledge Triangle” in HEIs

Zaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC), SPAIN

The parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: ZLC; University of Zaragoza; state administration – Spanish Ministry of Education and Science; regional administration – Government of Aragon; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) supporting the development of educational activities at ZLC; Ibercaja and EU funding of the research/educational activites; private business sector represented by the companies from PLAZA S.A., students and alumni.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Strong focus on applying experimental approach to education combining business case discussions, lectures, simulation games and exercises, engaging students to take part in international competitions, work on an applied project, expert talks and company visits.
  • Industry sessions regularly provided to students where representatives from various companies are welcomed to present their company’s operations to ZLC’s students, interact with them and/or conduct interviews.
  • Attracting business through flexible and beneficial agreements, based on the developed formal incentive mechanism for industry participation in education and research. ZLC has developed a corporate programme that offers companies three levels of collaboration (Academic, Research and Corporate partners). The lowest levels of collaboration address the support of education (sponsoring ZLC students’ thesis projects), the highest include support for research (e.g. funding a professorial chair to access pioneering results from research).
  • Contract education – customized executive education programs for individual enterprises and consortia to fulfill their specific learning needs and allow their teams to be more effective in the day-to-day work; and training carried collaboratively with industry.
  • Intensive Alumni interactions – ZLC’s alumni organize meetings/workshops where various companies and academia can share best practices and experiences in the area of supply chain; and provide scholarships each year for students, supporting them in achieving their supply chain dream.
  • Involving companies as demonstrators in projects.
  • Dedicated unit for knowledge transfer (Knowledge Transfer Office – KTO) designated to control the corresponding knowledge transfer activities (e.g., promotion of ZLC’s research output and knowhow to both private and public sectors; support services for the obtainment and management of external research grants schemes, etc.).
  • PhD Sponsorship – doctoral students have the opportunity to be assigned to a research project of preference at a ZLC partner company.
  • Organizing special events in which final student research projects are presented, and companies and researchers have the opportunity for networking and discussing about the latest research trends in logistics and supply chain management applied to real life success cases.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University, The NETHERLANDS

The parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: Erasmus University Rotterdam represented by Rotterdam School of Management (RSM); the Dutch government and its structures; the Rotterdam city government; the port of Rotterdam and private sector; Leiden-Delft-Erasmus strategic alliance; other research institutes and universities; students and alumni.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Advisory board comprised of distinguished leaders from business and the public sector, helping to better bridge the theory-practice gap.
  • Participation in the SmartPort joint venture in which all stakeholders work to tackle future challenges by joining its efforts in creation, dissemination, and application of port related knowledge.
  • Contract education, offering customized in-house education to management trainees and staff of major maritime organizations, allowing companies to tailor-make a curriculum according to their own interests and priorities.
  • Case Development Centre specialized in case writing for the support of case-based management education.
  • Programmes link students to both research and practice – involvement of business experts – guest lecturers, seminars and company visits, the best and proven tools and tactics used by leading firms are presented, in combination with the latest cutting-edge research.
  • Students take advantage of “blue chip” organizations infrastructure and information systems while writing their thesis.
  • Distinguished Lecture Series (DLS) – a series of open seminars, by prominent business executives and academics, designed to provoke conversations and new ideas, and provide the students with the opportunity to network with high level executives.
  • Intensive Alumni interactions – alumni are attracted to contribute to the education, acting as mentors, guest lecturers, panel members in student competitions, interviewers for prospective candidates, or counseling for issues related to career choice and development.
  • Programmes are developed in close co-operation with industry and involve other HEIs in running the programs.
  • Flexible PhD programmes attracting business professionals to produce new and practical knowledge, helping their business to grow and innovate.
  • Supply Chain Management Honours programme – student involvement in industry and government through case studies (company-based research and an internship) or taking part in a research project conducted by a member of RSM faculty and organizing an academic seminar.
  • Using knowledge transfer indicators for measure success.

The University of Huddersfield, UK

The parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: HUD represented by its Business School’s Department of Logistics, Operations, Hospitality and Marketing; NOVUS Trust – an innovative initiative, bringing industry and the university together to enhance the education, including a total of 30 companies from the retail sector, manufacturing and logistics; the Government through its regulations and funding schemes; students and business.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Providing practice-oriented education and focusing on employability – the courses provided are taught through series of lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops, case studies and projects, industry specific software experiencing, simulations and interactive games and packed with professional development opportunities through work experience, placements, mentoring, guest lectures, site visits, field trips and professional qualifications.
  • NOVUS educational initiative that brings industry and the university together to enhance the education and the development of students.
  • Dual programmes combining study and work experience.
  • Leading experts, holding senior positions in business, the public or voluntary sectors, and the professionals participate in the Advisory Board of the Business School
  • Engaging the industry in the design of courses thus ensuring that they fit with real business needs and give students exactly the skills they will need.
  • The courses are accredited by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS).
  • Flexible research degree frameworks (MSc by Research and PhD) attracting individuals who are in industrial or commercial employment and who wish to undertake research and development on a part-time basis to solve problems or develop enhancements for their work purposes.
  • Participation in Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) national initiative consisting of a three-way partnership between an external partner (a business, some public sector organizations and charities) a graduate (known as the Associate) and an academic.
  • Dedicated Placement Unit (BPU), aiming to primarily support first and second year undergraduate students to find placements in the area corresponding to their study.
  • Service to Business office, serving as a single point of contact into the University for all its external visitors, supports companies from all industry sectors providing access to the extensive knowledge, skills and resources at the University of Huddersfield.
  • Promotion of international exchanges with business (e.g. field trips in the Netherlands) and HEIs abroad.

Kühne Logistics University, GERMANY

The parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: KLU; companies (and industry associations) that are part of KLU´s extensive industry network in Hamburg and beyond including both, well-known multinational companies as well as emerging SME´s in the field of logistics services, industry, commerce or consulting.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Customized training programs tailored to fit the specific needs and requirements of a company by covering cutting-edge topics, current developments and industry trends.
  • Practical relevance of each program – the courses are conducted with the direct involvement of practitioners or companies and are supplemented by both, case- and project-based learning, excursions, business simulations, and integrated internships.
  • Runing a compulsory capstone project (course) during which groups of KLU students work out solutions for practical problems offered by industry partners.
  • Organazing a variety of extra-curricular events connecting university, research and industry at a yearly basis: 3-day workshop combining academic and industry perspectives on certain topics and enabling students to create solutions derived from scientific knowhow for real issues.
  • “Logistics Start-up Day” bringing together KLU students, professors and start-ups from the area of transportation and logistics.
  • Participation of well-known company representatives in HEI’s Advisory board.
  • Maintaing extensive university-research-industry partnerships.

University of National and World Economy (UNWE), BULGARIA

The parties involved in the logistics knowledge triangle are: UNWE represented by its Department of Logistics; The Centre for Logistics Research and Training at UNWE; Non-profit sectoral and professional organisations; manufacturing and commercial companies with well-developed logistics departments; logistics service providers, and suppliers of logistics equipment and software.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Development of a competency-based approach to curriculum design, taking into account the opinion of the students and the business.
  • A series of monthly highly practically oriented lectures presented by prominent logistics and supply chain managers.
  • On-site visits to companies every term.
  • Internships of Business Logistics students in partnering companies, based on contracts.
  • Flexible PhD programs and policies attracting company managers to apply and encouraging doctoral students to participate in projects and in the teaching process.
  • Talent development through including students in research projects and events.
    • Dedicated university office for cooperation with external partnersa centre for career development with the mission to provide assistance to students with their professional orientation and development. It annually organizes “Career days”.
    • The Advisory Board of the Centre for Logistics Research and Training is set up by the department’s academic staff and industry representatives. The Centre develops and implements research projects together with companies as well as tailor made training programmes for business.
    • Joint development of a job-search website specialised in logistics positions between the Department of Logistics and the Bulgarian Logistics Association.
    • Accreditation by the European Logistics Association of the programmes provided by the Department of Logistics for the qualification standards European Junior Logistician – cEJLog and European Senior Logistician – cESLog.
    • Setting up a Council Board at the department involving logistics and supply chain mangers as councellers in designing programmes and providing education and research.

Montanuniversitaet Leoben, AUSTRIA

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: Montanuniversitaet Leoben (MUL) through the Chair of Industrial Logistics, which integrates engineering education and education in logistics management; KNAPP Systemintegration, Leoben – a company that specializes in end-to-end logistics solutions in complex and highly automated warehouse areas; SSI SCHAEFER, Friesach one of the largest logistics providers worldwide whose software offers transparent control and monitoring functionalities, as well as an integration of the systems in intralogistics processes; Bundesvereinigung Logistik Österreich (BVL Austria)the leading logistics association in Austria.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Establishing an in-house training program for SSI SCHAEFER, developed and taught by the university (5 modules).
  • A course on ‘Special logistics applications’, provided for the university by experts from the companies as associate lecturers from industry
  • Establishment of a regional logistics conference in cooperation between BVL, KNAPP, SSI SCHAEFER and Montanuniversitaet Leoben.
  • The Bachelor Program in Industrial Logistics (Montanuniversitaet Leoben) is a dual program combining study and work experience. At least one semester of internship is required. Moreover, bachelor theses are developed jointly with industry.
  • The companies support the establishment of a logistics lab at the university by providing technology and software. The Logistics Lab Montanuniversitaet Leoben serves as an interdisciplinary center for research and development.
  • Internships for students in the companies, a number of them were employed by the companies after graduation.
  • Mobility between university and industry – practitioners teach, researchers/teachers from university assist in developing company education.
  • Regional competence centre of BVL Austria in collaboration with industry.

Hull University Business School, UK

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are:  Hull University Business School through the Logistics Institute – a world-class center of excellence in global logistics and supply chain management; World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council; businesses.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • With extensive expertise in emerging technologies such as Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC), item attendant data and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), the Logistics Institute assists with their integration into the supply chain.
  • Building of a Virtual Game to Create Logistics Awareness in Youth using the XBOX Kinect platform in order to generate higher levels of logistics awareness among school age children.
  • The Logistics Institute is working in conjunction with the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on the Future of Logistics and Supply Chains, to produce an innovative report on the impact of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Logistics and Supply Chains industry. Students work on case studies and research for the project.
  • The Logistic Institute offers to the industrial environment research and analysis in relation to asset management and tracking, Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems planning, development and testing, wireless communications for logistics and AIDC technology selection and evaluation.

Jönköping University, SWEDEN

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: Jönköping University with its four schools that have their own focus areas and research activities; The Centre of Logistics and Supply Chain Management (CeLS) – a research and learning center within the field of logistics and supply chain management at Jönköping International Business School; the Science Park Jönköping; industry; the local and regional municipalities.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Establishment of Science Park Jönköping which provides support for the start-up, development and growth of business ventures. The students can access the resources for starting and developing a new enterprise free of charge.
  • The Science Park is a meeting place for business representatives and new ventures. Here they can find common ground for development and collaboration, and take advantage of the close connection to the university.
  • CeLS presents and discusses research results with industry, public and commercial organizations, through seminars and workshops.
  • CeLS also develops and delivers programmes and courses within the field of logistics and supply chain management to master students and executives.
  • Jönköping University started a number of national collaborative projects in order to strengthen strategic interactivity between universities and society in Sweden.
  • Jönköping University collaborates internationally, nationally, regionally and locally, through student projects, research collaborations, customized courses and participation in different networks.

Politecnico di Milano School of Management, Observatory on Contract Logistics, ITALY

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: Politecnico di Milano Department of Industrial Engineering (DIG); Observatory on Contract Logistics – part of the Observatories on Digital Innovation system by Politecnico di Milano School of Management; a group of 20 companies, partners of the Observatory.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Short executive courses (2-3 days).
  • Research at Observatory on Contact Logistics focuses on logistic outsourcing issues in Italy, from strategic outsourcing decisions to tactical outsourcing approaches.
    • Workshops are organized to transfer outcomes of the Observatories to Business School students.
    • Observatory on Contact Logistics maintains three types of collaboration agreement with Companies:
  • Partnership: Logistic Service Providers and Technology Providers who pay an annual membership fee and participate in all the meetings, workshops and research activities, and make a presentation during the Observatory annual main conference.
  • Sponsorship: Logistic Service Providers and Technology Providers who pay to participate in the research activities and to advertise their products and services at the Observatory annual main conference.
  • Industries and Large retailers participate in the research free of charge though their Logistics departments.

Budapest Metropolitan University, HUNGARY

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: Budapest Metropolitan University, the companies TATA, ERSTE Bank, FHB Bank and ITCB (Institute for Training and Consulting in Banking).

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • “Dual” educational system which includes Universities and companies. Student curriculum is adjusted by company/university and accepted by both. The student visits the lectures and seminars as any other students, while when the semesters finish, he/she works at the company.
  • Coaching, training and job-seeking services.
  • Career Centre dedicated to students
  • International and national scholarship opportunities.
  • Student Union working actively for student employment opportunities.

University of Padova, ITALY

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: University of Padova (UP) represented by its Department of Management and Engineering, T.I.M.E. network, bilateral agreements with USA, China (CSC), India and Brazil (Science without Borders) and local companies and laboratories.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Partnership with leading companies for the activation of internships and/ or collaborations for research programs.
  • Involvement in bilateral agreements and voluntary networks, enabling strategic and innovative research programmes and exchanges of students from different countries.
  • Collaboration with national and international research organizations, working to foster the growth of knowledge and manage common projects.
  • The “Servizio Stage e Career Service” office is entitled to help students to find the perfect match with an Italian/local company for their working experience during the study courses and offers contact references for Job Placement after students’ graduation.
  • Fostering students to develop a personal project related to the modeling and design of complex logistic systems (such as integrated supply chains, distribution networks and flexible and integrated manufacturing systems) during the different study courses together with research centers and companies.

University of Gothenburg, SWEDEN

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: University of Gothenburg and its Centres for Research and Education, research sector, public authorities and companies. Sweden Budapest Metropolitan University, companies.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Providing support to companies to handle organisational changes (contract research, expert consulting and employment of doctoral students) and staff training (contract education).
  • Providing support to public authorities that may need help with independent studies and analyses.
  • Developing knowledge transfer environment – creation and management of Centers of Expertise and Research, serving as a meeting point for students and researchers, as well as representatives from the commercial, industrial and public sectors.
  • Students have the opportunity to analyze real-life problems and design solutions for organizations and use state-of-the-art logistical software.
  • Faculty is supplemented by prestigious international visiting professors and representatives of the business community.

Chalmers University of Technology, SWEDEN

Parties involved in the Knowledge Triangle are: Chalmers University of Technology, Chalmers Production – a platform for research in manufacturing, production systems and product development; The Production Area of Advance, congregating more than half of all Chalmers departments, five research centres and three closely linked research environments, 25 research groups and a network of collaborating industries.

Good practices in the Knowledge Triangle include:

  • Problem-based learning, including case studies and problem solving with quantitative and qualitative models.
  • Close connection with Science parks combining companies’ know-how and innovative drive with academic expertise.
  • Initiative Seminars – meeting places for people representing research, innovation and society. Renowned scientists are invited to talk about their work, discuss and interact with scientists and students at Chalmers, representatives from industry and society are engaged, and students are involved in workshops and poster exhibitions.
Recommendations for applying 'Knowledge Triangle' in HEIs

Based on the analysis of the selected good practices, the following recommendations are proposed:

  • Focus on applying experimental approach in education
  • Development of a competency-based approach to curriculum design
  • Internationalisation of education
  • Focus on executive education programmes
  • Internships and Dual programmes combining study and work experience
  • Engaging students in the research activity of HEIs
  • Focus on new and practical knowledge
  • Fostering transparency and openness
  • Internationalisation of science
  • Developing knowledge transfer environment
  • Stimulating interactions with the business
  • Using a dedicated channel for knowledge transfer activities
  • Shared governance model
  • Evaluation and monitoring of the impact of knowledge transfer
  • Support from professional bodies, state and regional administration.