Posted September 22, 2011 Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Institute of Technology and Tecnológico de Monterrey are launching the Trade & Logistics Innovation Center in Mexico City with an inauguration ceremony from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Sept. 30.
The center, which is a partnership between the two institutions, will focus on improving Mexico’s logistics performance and increasing trade competitiveness.
The ceremony will be held at Tecnológico de Monterrey’s Sante Fe campus, located at Av. Carlos Loza No. 100 Col., Santa Fe, Mexico, DF 01389. The event will begin with a light brunch, followed by the official launch of the center and tour of Innovation Park.
“In order for us to continue our global positioning, we have to understand the supply chain from an international perspective,” said Jaymie Forrest, managing director of the Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute. “It is essential that there be in-depth knowledge of major trading partners such as Mexico for Georgia Tech to be the leader in international trade.”
The Trade & Logistics Center in Mexico City is the fourth addition to Georgia Tech’s international network of innovation and logistical centers.
The Supply Chain & Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech’s H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering in Atlanta is the main center of the network. Three international centers are currently operating in Singapore, Costa Rica and Panama. Each center supports the competitiveness agenda of the country.
A country’s productivity, as influenced by logistics performance, is critical to its global competitiveness. The World Bank’s annual Logistics Performance Index ranks the United States 15th, Mexico 50th, Panama 51st and Costa Rica 56th in the world in logistics performance. A clear need exists to improve these rankings through more effective and productive logistics, Forrest said.
Like the others, the new center in Mexico City will focus on three areas – education, research and industry growth.
“We’re going to provide education and research to make sure Mexico has the capacity to do it on its own,” said Miguel Martinez, executive director of the Mexico center. “The fact that an institution like Georgia Tech is involved will help us get there faster with proven methodologies and success in other countries.”
The center will offer professional and executive education on logistics and trade, the same extensive curriculum offered by the Supply Chain & Logistics Institute at Georgia Tech. That includes comprehensive programs in lean supply chain, transportation, warehousing, inventory, trade and supply chain strategy.
For its research agenda, the center will work on projects for Mexico’s federal government in several areas, such as disaster management and humanitarian logistics and improvement of the food and beverage supply chains. The center’s research areas will also include warehouse distribution and logistics, logistics and manufacturing, supply chain for emerging economies and information technologies for supply chain management.
To reach Mexico’s industry base, the center will be partnering with one of Mexico’s largest business associations to develop education programs and tools for its members, so they have a better understanding of logistics and how it affects them.
“The goal is to better prepare our infrastructure and our industries to be competitive at the local level and for export,” Martinez said.
The center is a win-win for all involved, Forrest said. The countries benefit by leveraging Georgia Tech’s expertise to improve logistics performances, which is the foundation for competitiveness and trade. Georgia Tech benefits by offering a richer learning experience for its students and faculty, and positioning the Institute as the global leader in international trade research.
“Research and development leadership requires a global presence and applied knowledge,” Forrest said. “Our network of innovation centers provides Georgia Tech the foundation for collaboration and application in the field for maintaining our expertise in supply chain and logistics.”