Acuerdo MIT-Zaragoza

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MIT and Aragón, Spain Create International Logistics Program. Partnership Embeds Education and Research in Logistics Laboratory

The MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics has signed a multi-year agreement with the government of Aragón, Spain, to help create an international education and research program in the logistics of goods & services.

The MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program is part of a massive initiative to develop the Aragón region of Spain, around its capital city of Zaragoza, into a significant logistics center in Europe. Located at the heart of Spain’s northeastern quadrant, Zaragoza is a natural gateway to Europe from Spain and Portugal. Its location, together with its impressive infrastructure, makes it a natural axis for economic and logistic activity. To leverage these advantages, the government of Aragón helped to create a state-of-the-art logistics park near Zaragoza — an 11-million square-meter complex of distribution centers, warehouses, transportation, dry port and intermodal services — to be run by a dedicated firm called PLAZA (Plataforma Logística de Zaragoza).

In the midst of the logistics park, the government is also creating theZaragoza Logistics Center (ZLC), an international center for education and research in logistics and supply chain management. The board of directors of the new Center will include representatives of MIT, theUniversity of Zaragoza, the government of Aragón and the companies in the logistics park.

The MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program will be the Center’s flagship effort. It will conduct cutting-edge research, using PLAZA as a working laboratory for international logistics practice. “Instead of putting a laboratory in a university, this program puts the university within a large-scale laboratory,” said Yossi Sheffi, Director of MIT’s Center for Transportation & Logistics. “PLAZA companies will work with researchers at the ZLC and at MIT to experiment with new logistics processes, concepts and technologies developed at the Center.”

According to MIT President Charles M. Vest, “The MIT-Zaragoza International Logistics Program will serve as a model for close cooperation between industry and academia, and for moving the results of university research quickly and effectively into practice.”
The ZLC will offer graduate and executive education in logistics to students from around the world. The offerings will include a master’s degree modeled on MIT’s Master of Engineering in Logistics (MLOG) – a nine-month professional program preparing graduates for careers in logistics and supply chain management, a doctorate degree, and a set of executive education courses leading to certificates in various logistics-related disciplines. The curricula will be taught by professors in the new center; the first courses will be offered in the fall of 2004.

“While the strategic location and infrastructure are crucial to the success of the logistics park, the single most important element that will determine its long-term success is the quality of its human capital,” said Marcelino Iglesias, President of Aragón. “This program will put Zaragoza at the forefront of international logistics education and research.”

For more information, contact Jarrod Goentzel.