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Competence Center for International Logistics Networks

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The Competence Center for International Logistics Networks (ILNET) is part of the Chair of Logistics at the Technical University of Berlin (TUB), headed by Prof. Dr. Frank Straube. ILNET is endowed by the Kuehne Foundation, which is supporting research on international logistics networks at TUB since 2005. In the last 14 years, the competence center had an important contribution to teaching and research in the field of logistics at TUB and beyond in its international network of universities and industry partners. Thereby, ILNET always seeks to integrate research and practice through various formats such as industry workshops, conferences, management concepts, supply chain case studies for teaching and training, an online logistics planning tool (TUB Logistics Navigator) and many more. To achieve this, ILNET closely works together with a network of internationally renowned universities that are also supported by the Kuehne Foundation such as the Tongji University (Kuehne Foundation Chair of International Logistics Networks and Services, CDHK, Prof. Dr. Sidong Zhang), the Kuehne Logistics University (KLU) and many more.

Over the past years, ILNET strongly focused on research on robustness in international logistics research and thereby supported practice in managing disruption risks and supply chain volatility (focus industries: automotive, consumer goods, electronics, logistics service providers). Additionally contributions in the field of behavioral and cultural management, concepts for improving logistics performance, digitalization strategies as well as training and further education concepts have been made. Even though ILNET supports research on various topics of international logistics, independent of the region, the focus in recent years has been strongly on the investigation of German-Chinese logistics networks. Since this trade relationship has an important contribution to global logistics networks, it was an important cornerstone of the ILNET development to focus on this relationship. Especially the differences between Western and Chinese culture often required a re-thinking regarding traditional logistics concepts.

In 2019, ILNET decided to broaden the research spectrum for the next funding period (2019-2022) with regards to the focus region and research topics. From there on, ILNET will investigate logistics challenges and strategies in Sub-Saharan-Africa (SSA), taking Ethiopia as an example (but not restricting it to that country). Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and is often seen one of the good practice countries in SSA regarding industry development. Nevertheless, Ethiopia still has a lot of improvement potential when it comes to logistics performance, making research on logistics in this region necessary, taking the specifics of the region and core industries into account. Since the current importance of the food and textile industry in Ethiopia, they will become target industries as well as the automotive industries since this industry could become more important for Ethiopia in the next years. Although the focus region is changing, ILNET still seeks to support practice and research alike by integrating both stakeholders by various formats. Besides the regional focus, ILNET will also increase research on the utilization of digital technologies in logistics networks with special regards to supply chain automation, Blockchain technology and Natural Language Processing (and possibly more).

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Cooperation

Our center, as well as the entire Chair of Logistics, maintains close relationships with its partners in science and practice which constitute an essential element of our successful work.

The founding stone of our partnerships is the Kuehne Foundation and its network of university research institutions, which are supported by it.

The Swiss Kuehne Foundation is commited to promote education, training and science and research in the field of logistics. It has systematically and continuously expanded its cooperations in recent years. With the Technical University Berlin, the Foundation has a long-standing and intensive cooperation.

In July 2005 the Center for International Logistics Networks was founded with financial support from the Kuehne Foundation.

In addition, since May 2007  the Kuehne Foundation in cooperation with Technische Universität Berlin promotes  the chair for "International Logistics Networks and Services" at the Chinese-German University College (CDHK) Tongji University. We collaborate in research and teaching with this chair and the other higher education institutions, supported by the Kuehne Foundation (Kühne Logistics University, WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management and ETH Zurich).

The second and equally important pillar is our cooperation with companies. As part of the practical orientation of teaching and research, we are working together in a variety of industries with a variety of national and international companies. To this end, workshops together with representatives of partner companies will be held on a regular basis in Germany and China.

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