Tag Archive for: Living Labs

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). 

Escola Europea takes a closer look at Technology Transfer Initiatives and Living Labs

With the first six months of the EU-funded TechLog project finishing, the technical aspects of the premise of the project take a more central stage. Orlando Reveco, from the Escola Europea, helps us understand what Technology Transfer Initiatives and Living Labss are in an in-depth interview about these innovative characteristics of research and education.

Q:Can you please tell me a little bit about your background, and how you will be involved in the TechLog project over the next few years?

A: I have had the opportunity of being closely linked to the technological world for many years in which I worked in companies that focus on finding technological solutions for all kinds of issues. Across the development of my professional career, I have also had the opportunity to cooperate in various educational projects. I have seen first-hand how such a cooperation between the use of technology in training activities yields better results and becomes a powerful force that can accelerate economic growth.

TechLog presents an opportunity to expand my knowledge and use my experience to benefit a project oriented in the exchange of technology for the development of an area that is increasingly important. Being part of a team that will help prepare professionals capable of facing the challenges of the coming years and establish a permanent cross-border EU-Med area where organisations and port authorities co-create and share new technology transfers initiatives, is a great personal motivation for me.

Q: Could you explain what Technology Transfer Initiatives and Living Labs are for the “uninitiated”?

A: Technology transfer initiatives are processes that help disseminate technology from the individual or organisation that owns or holds it to another individual or organisation, therewith helping transform inventions and scientific outcomes into new products and services that benefit society at large.

 They represent an invaluable opportunity where knowledge and practice exchanges in professional environments, designed by organisations with a lot of educational experience and logistics operators, will take place and will allow all parties to be part of a project without borders in which they will be able to establish a network and share practical experiences, therewith increasing their chances of success in the future.

 A living lab on the other hand is a research concept, which may be defined as a user-centred, open-innovation ecosystem that integrates contemporaneous research and innovation processes within a public-private-people partnership.

There are no limitations to the advantages that these types of initiative can provide, especially in regional exchange scenarios where the personal development of its participants will inevitably become the success of the objectives proposed by the international project.

Q: The Escola Europea has begun developing the Port Virtual Lab platform over the past two years. How can this platform help TechLog achieve its goals?

A: Port Virtual Lab is a very complete project that offers technological educational development tools. Initially, we talked about a platform that was to be used as a meeting point for all those who have knowledge and professional development needs in the international transportation and logistics environment – and now it has morphed into a teaching tool that is used to replicate real-life port and logistics operations in the Escola’s courses.

 It is for this reason that PortVirtual Lab and TechLog will have no problem working together, as both of them are fundamentally complete tools and platforms that work towards the development of advanced academic content, and which are endorsed by organisations with long and recognised records.

Q: How effective do you think are virtual simulators in imitating reality, especially when it comes to training?

Virtual simulators not only capture the interest of the person who uses them, but in my opinion they can represent a new way of turning hours of theoretical and practical experiences in the classroom into fun experiences – all of which encourage immersive learning.

 Carrying out training for future logistics operators in innovative virtual reality systems allows them to get to know the environment where they will carry out their activities and experience situations that they may probably find but that are difficult to replicate in a real environment – and it does so safely without peril to real-life clients and supply chain operations.

Q: How common would you say is it currently in Mediterranean countries to use simulation practices in the field of transport? What do you think is(are) contributing factors to this?

I am completely sure that it will be an increasingly recurrent practice. The demand for services in the logistics and transport sector in the Mediterranean increases every year and this can only mean that every day more and better-trained personnel will be needed to meet the ever-changing requirements and reach geographical and environmental goals and standards.

Training must be accompanied by a methodology that allows us to focus on the necessary procedures and can be adapted to the work schemes of each port community; it is a flexibility that only the use of systems with these characteristics can offer.

 This is a way to achieve common work operations processes where all Mediterranean members have an equal footing.