The European TECHLOG project presents its ‘Living Labs’

This month, the EU-funded TECHLOG project gathers steam in events across the Mediterranean. In Spain, representatives of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport presented the project to participants of the international Smart Ports conference, which took place in the framework of the Smart City Expo World Congress 2022. At the same time in Tunis, TECHLOG will launch the 2nd Mediterranean Living Lab to support the transfer of innovative solutions for advanced (trans)port training.

On the morning of the 17th of November, Orlando Reveco from the Escola Europea took the stand to introduce the TECHLOG project to conference attendees. Having provided a summary of the project objectives and goals, Mr. Reveco then delve into the specifics of Port Virtual Lab – a virtual port community that hosts an array of online simulators used in the training of port community professionals and young people seeking to enter the industry.

Across the Mediterranean Sea, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sfax, Tunis, partner of the project, is organising and hosting the launch event of the West Living Lab which will enable technology transfers for logistics innovation in the Mediterranean area. The event will take place on the 23rd of November 2022 in Sfax, Tunisia.

The aim of the “Living Lab” is to stimulate innovation by transferring research from laboratories to real-life settings where users are invited to cooperate with researchers and developers to contribute to the overall innovation process. The event will mark the signing of collaboration agreements on innovation and training between the partners.

TECHLOG (Technological Transfer for Logistics Innovation in Mediterranean area) is aimed at strengthening the links between research and industry in the trans(port) sector by creating a permanent EU-MED cross-border space where research organisations and (trans)port industry can co-develop, test and share new Technology Transfer Initiatives based on advanced simulation technologies.

TECHLOG is a 30-month EU co-funded project with a total budget of EUR 3.4 million, of which EUR 3.1 million (90%) is provided under the ENI CBC Med Programme.

The project partners are the University of Cagliari in Italy (main beneficiary), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture of Maremma and Tirino (Italy), the Arab Academy of Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (Egypt), the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport (Spain), and the Federation of Egyptian European Business Associations (Egypt), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (Lebanon), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sfax (Tunisia), and the University of Sfax (Tunisia).

The consortium consists of members from Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon who will participate in the TECHLOG project meetings together with the EU Delegation in Tunisia, the Ministry of Transport and important Tunisian stakeholders from ports, land transport and logistics, research and innovation laboratories and training institutions.

2022 sees a record number of students pass through the Escola’s doors as it bounces back up from the pandemic

On Wednesday, the 16th of November the Executive Committee Meeting of the Escola Europea was held. The meeting was chaired by Eduard Rodés. Mario Massarotti representing Grimaldi Group, Antonio Pedevila representing GNV, Silvio Ferrando representing Ports of Genoa, Catalina Grimalt representing the Port of Barcelona and Luca Lupi representing Porti di Roma were in attendance.

The meeting dealt with issues related to the evolution of the Escola’s activities, new initiatives such as Forma’t al Port TALENT, the development of the Port Virtual Lab platform and the organisation’s participation in the Port of Barcelona’s trade mission to Thailand.

The increase in the number of students and new training centres that have joined the Formati al Porto programmes organised by the centre in Italy was also highlighted.

A record number of participants attended logistics and transport workshops throughout the year, with a total of 3,380 participants, three times more than expected. This was in addition to the 2,111 students who attended the technical courses. In total, 5,497 people passed through the Escola’s classrooms in 2022.

During the meeting, the ARETE EXCELLENCE distinction was presented to Luca Lupi, who is leaving the board of the Escola after his appointment as director of the Port of Palermo. Eduard Rodés, on behalf of the Executive Board, thanked him for his involvement and dedication during all these years, wishing him good luck and a lot of success in the new stage of his professional development.

In the photo (from left to right): Catalina Grimalt, Luca Lupi, Eduard Rodés and Concha Palacios. Silvio Ferrando, Antonio Pedevila and Mario Massarotti joined the meeting remotely.

The President of the Port of Civitavecchia has appointed Ms Marta Coppola to represent the Port Authority.

Inauguracion de la primera edición del curso Forma't al Port - Talent

The first edition of the Forma’t al Port – TALENT begins

A high performance programme for specialised training in the transport, logistics and port sector

On Thursday the 3rd of November the opening ceremony of the first edition of the Forma’t al Port Talent programme took place at the premisses of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport. The course is a high-performance training in which participants have had to pass assessment tests and professional interviews before being selected to participate. During the training, candidates will be able to see elements that make up a logistics-port community first-hand. They will also obtain a detailed report on their professional profile at the end of the course which will allow them to be a part of a specialised recruitment database for the companies participating in this training.

With this initiative, the Escola Europea, together with the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council, the Zona Franca and the companies sponsoring the Forma’t al Port programme in its TALENT edition, seeks to solve one of the most significant problems in the sector identified within the framework of the Training and Employment working group of the Port of Barcelona Governing Council: the lack of qualified talent.

The opening ceremony was attended by Eduard Rodés, the director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport; Agustín Oleaga, non-executive president of DHL Supply Chain Iberia, who shared his experience with the students, giving them advice and recommendations to continue their professional career. In addition, Catalina Grimalt, the deputy director general of the Port of Barcelona gave a speech in English, the language in which the training will take place, encouraging the participants and explaining the role that the Escola Europea has played in the development of qualified professionals in the sector.

Grimalt highlighted the long trajectory that Escola Europea has travelled in technical and specialised training: “For 15 years, like the sector, Escola Europea has constantly evolved, like an organism that follows the Darwinian laws of the survival of the fittest. It has grown, spread its influence along the Mediterranean and Atlantic shores and strengthened its relations with international training centres”.

The training will take place in the Barcelona port area and at sea during a SSS route between Barcelona and Civitavecchia. In addition to technical training, trainees will have the opportunity to develop transversal skills such as teamwork, communication and organisation. This will enable them to learn the technical vocabulary of the sector and to function in an international port environment.

The creation of this programme has been possible thanks to the collaboration between public entities, private companies and the academic sector. As a result, the sponsoring companies will have access to a pool of qualified talent, facilitating recruitment processes and giving access to the most qualified young people in the sector within the region. This will ultimately facilitate a solution to the recruitment processes of highly qualified personnel within the sector.

To this end, the Escola continues to collaborate with public and private entities. Professionals of all levels of experience contribute to the design and implementation of all of its courses, so that what students are taught reflects the reality of the sector.

The Escola Europea as a model for training in the logistics and ports industry in Thailand

On the 25th of October the Escola Europea, together with the Port of Barcelona and the Barcelona port community, signed a collaboration agreement in the framework of the Commercial and Trade Mission of the Port of Barcelona to Thailand. The agreement aimed to build and strengthen relationship with this country.

The document focused on training within the industry between the two port communities and was signed by Santiago Garcia-Milà, the Deputy Director General of Strategy and Development of the Port of Barcelona; Emili Sanz, Vice President of FETEIA-OLTRA; Marta Miquel, Chief Business Officer of the Escola Europea Intermodal-Transport; and Witoon Santibunyarat, President of the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA).

Among other things, the document highlighted the intentions and needs of the industry in both ports and recognised the need to build better trained, qualified, and digitalised port communities to improve the commercial relationship between Spain and Thailand, and make transactions more efficient. All of this was supported by the signatories, namely the Port of Barcelona, the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, the Spanish Freight Forwarders Federation (Federación Española de Transitaris – FETEIA in Spanish) and TIFFA.

Trade mission in Thailand 2022

The meeting with the Thai International Freight Forwarders Association (TIFFA) was accompanied by a working session entitled “Logistics training”. The session organised as part of the port’s trade mission to Thailand together with associations of consignees, customs agents and forwarding agents from both Barcelona and Bangkok. This event helped configure the training programmes that make up the Barcelona port community, and therewith position itself as a model of reference for the port-logistics fabric of Thailand.

In practical terms, the agreement reached envisioned the promotion of joint activities in the field of training and the implementation of a pilot training course in international trade operations, which will focus on trade transactions between Thailand, Europe and Mediterranean countries. Based on the results of this pilot course and the parties’ interest in further developing the relationship, the establishment of a stable collaboration framework for the development of joint courses will be considered, as well as the exchange of students in the frameworks of international projects. As part of this commitment to training Port Virtual Lab was introduced – a simulation tool for a cluster of companies and entities that make up a virtual port community, and that is able to simulate real operations.

Digitalization of operations is a necessity in today’s industries and that is why the Escola Europea has developed this innovative training platform. Both professionals and students of higher education institutions and can experience firsthand activities related to international trade, all the while interacting with our simulated companies. This way, Port Virtual Lab  provides the practitioner with an experiential learning environment from a distance, one in which users are immersed in a creative social space that allows them to design and experience their own training and innovation.

If you would like to know more about the trade mission, or are curious about the new platform, you can check out the platform website (https://www.portvirtuallab.com) or contact us (international@escolaeuropea.eu).

Escola Europea heads to Beirut to support the transfer of innovative solutions for advanced (trans)port training

In the framework of the 3rd TECHLOG Steering Committee meeting that took place in Beirut, Lebanon on 18 & 19 October 2022, the Chamber of Beirut and Mount Lebanon, partner in the project, organized the launch event of the Eastern Living Lab pertaining to the technological transfer for logistics innovation in Mediterranean area for (trans)port training. The launch event and Steering Committee meetings took place in Beirut, with TECHLOG consortium partners from Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon as well as Lebanese stakeholders from port, logistics, innovation labs and academic institutions in attendance. The project works towards the modernisation and optimisation of trans(port) for supply chains through the development of innovative tools for the technology transfers within port industries.

Mr. Rabih Sabra, Director General of Beirut Chamber welcomed the partners and participants form Italy, Spain, Tunisia, Egypt and Lebanon and shed lights on the Chamber’s leading role in ENI CBC MED projects for y(tranears. He emphasized the relevance of TECHLOG since it will not only enhance the partnership between Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean Basin but will also give Lebanon and the port and transport community of Beirut an opportunity to upscale its workforce skills and to benefit from the technology transfer through the new living labs network. Speakers included Mrs. Alessia Squarcella, Deputy Head of Cooperation from the EU Delegation in Lebanon, Dr. Kassem Rahhal, Advisor to the Minister of Public Works and Transport, Professors, Gianfranco Fancello & Patrizia Serra,  from University of Cagliari , the Lead Beneficiary of the TECHLOG project, and Dr. Sandra Haddad, Vice Dean at Arab Academy for Science, Technology & Maritime Transport  (AASTMT).

Mrs. Hana Nehme, Head of Development projects at Beirut Chamber opened the axes of discussions between the Lebanese stakeholders and the project partners on innovation challenges and needs, alignment of academic approach, and opportunities offered by the TECHLOG project.  The Lebanese stakeholders who attended the event, namely, Compagnie Maritime d’Affrètement (CMA) and Compagnie Générale Maritime (CGM), International Navigation Chamber, the American University of Beirut, ESA business School, and American University of Technology.

“It is amazing to be able to see the hard work that our partners have done over the past year in person” stated Concha Palacios – Chief Project Officer at the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport. “The innovative Living Labs and simulators now under development will be indispensable in the growth of supply chains across the Mediterranean, and central in the creation of training offers available to professionals and students alike. Moreover, through such collaborative team work with partners from all shores of the Mediterranean, we can develop real-life, virtual and simulation tools that can be used for training in all markets of the region.”

Members of the Escola Europea met with fellow partners from CEEBA – lead partner in the ENI CBC Med financed TechLog project

The Escola Europea is in the process of launching its own Living Lab – the Port Virtual Lab (PVL) – which is a comprehensive technological and educational development tool set up as a virtual port community. Within it, international transport and logistics students, and professionals can simulate real-life operations and have access to a variety of innovative tools that will help them develop and perfect their knowledge. Certain modules and simulators of the PVL are developed in the framework of the TechLog project.

For more information, you can contact the Escola at international@escolaeuropea.eu.

TECHLOG (Technological Transfer for Logistics Innovation in Mediterranean area) duration is and EU co-financed project of 30 months with a total budget of €3.4 million, of which €3.1 million (90%) is funded by the European Union. The project partners are the University of Cagliari of  Italy (Lead beneficiary), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Crafts and Agriculture of Maremma and Tirino (Italy), the Arab Academy for Science, Technology and Maritime Transport (Egypt), the European School of Short Shipping, EEIG (Spain), and the Federation of Egyptian European Business Associations (Egypt) ), the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon (Lebanon), the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Sfax (Tunisia), and Sfax University (Tunisia). 

Participants del curso SURCO Aragón, octubre 2022

Aragon commits to intermodality in rail transport through SURCO

The SURCO Aragón training, promoted by the Escola Europea and ALIA – Clúster Logístico de Aragón, focused on collaborative dynamics and the optimisation of national and international railway operations.

The SURCO – Simple Use of Railway Connections – courses delve into intermodal rail operations within ports and rail terminals, focusing on rail’s characteristics and advantages. In this edition of the course, held from 26 September to 4 October 2022 between Zaragoza, Barcelona and Perpignan, professionals from different parts of the Aragonese and Barcelona region came together to share the fundamental elements of rail logistics and apply them to reality through visits to operators and through the resolution of a practical case study. The training was organised and created in alliance with ALIA – the logistics cluster based in Zaragoza – and with the support of companies such as ViiA, the Zaragoza Maritime Terminal, the Port of Barcelona, Renfe, SLISA, Aragón Plataforma Logística, ADIF and the terminals of Ambrogio, Morrot and APM Terminals.

The training complies with the aims set by the European Union to increase the use of rail motorways and rail traffic in general as an incentive to promote sustainable mobility in the region. It is in this context that knowledge of the different aspects surrounding rail freight transport is not only beneficial for students and professionals but indispensable for companies involved in freight transport. This is where the offer of training courses that focus on local and international aspects, as SURCO Aragón did, take on special significance.

In this edition, 23 professionals from different freight transport companies, freight forwarders and import and export companies from Aragon, alongside others interested in the use of rail transport, were able to understand and subsequently apply the different elements necessary to offer efficient solutions by the inclusion of rail in the multimodal chain.

Theoretical classes focused on the management of railway systems, the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T), the impact of rail transport on the environment, procurement and international rail transport, and cost analysis of rail transport chains.

To apply the theoretical concepts, the course incorporated several visits to the railway infrastructures on the border between Spain and France: ViiA’s Le Boulou railway lorry terminal, the Zaragoza Maritime Terminal, the PLAZA intermodal terminal (ADIF), the Ambrogio intermodal terminal, the Morrot railway terminal, the ADIF traffic control centre in Zaragoza and the APM Terminals container terminal.

In addition to the visits and classes, participants worked on a practical case study in groups, which allowed them to put into practice everything they had learned.

For more information about the course, you can head to: SURCO Aragon 2022 – Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport.

Barcelona Port’s Training and Employment Working Group encourages training for road transport

New studies must help companies recruit people trained in the fields of driving and road transport management.

On the 29th of September, in the framework of the Working Group on ‘Training and Employment’ of the Port Authority of Barcelona, an information day has been held regarding the new courses that have launched during the current academic year 2022-23 at the Institute of Logistics of Barcelona and the Institute of the Virgin of the Mercè, as part of the Consortium of Education of Barcelona.

These new studies must help companies recruit people trained in the fields of driving and road transport management.

The road transport sector, through ATEC and SINTRAPORT – the sectoral associations in Barcelona – has identified a lack of specific professional profiles for the development of the economic activity of transport companies. The sector is suffering from the ageing of its workers, especially those engaged in driving, and has detected the lack of profiles as urgent as that of traffic bottlenecks.

In order to combat this situation and attract talent among transport companies in Barcelona, the Barcelona Education Consortium has launched a comprehensive strategy to respond to the situation:

  • The introduction of a new professional training cycle on driving vehicles, to train future lorry drivers.
  • The creation of an integral training center in logistics: the Barcelona Logistics Institute, to prepare courses based on transport management profiles.

It has been noted that throughout 2021 approximately 1000 new vocational training jobs were created from the 11,000 existing ones, and to which 20,000 applications were received. This is in addition to the high employability of students finishing the Dual Training programmes which showed a 70-80% recruitment rate in the first year of completion of the studies, in fields directly related to the studies completed.

In the light of these initiatives, the ‘Training and Employment’ Working Group of the Port of Barcelona Governing Council has organised a day to share the strategy and formative offer initiated by this academic course with the transport community, with the aim of creating synergies between companies and training centres through training projects, dual FP practices and demand-fitting talent recruitment.

During the event Eduard Rodés, the chairman of the Working Group and director of the Escola Europea – Intermodal Transport, expressed the needs of the sector. He was accompanied by Oscar González, the president of ATEC and Jorge Fernández, the president of SINTRAPORT,.

In response, Josep Ramon Domingo, from the Directorate of Post-Compulsory and Special Regime Education of the Barcelona Consortium, Alex Salinas, the deputy director of the Institute of the Virgin of the Mercè and Mercedes García, teacher and head of studies at the ILB have explained the strategy, content and ways of close collaboration between centers and companies.

Finally, Francesc Bonada, Head of Organization and Sustainability of the Port of Barcelona and Eduard Rodés, have closed the event by recalling the importance of collaboration with the business fabric to know the occupational needs and be able to adapt the training cycles to the current trends of the business community.