Cardiff University and Panalpina launch new Research Centre

13 October 2016

Panalpina - Lab shot
The future’s bright: Cardiff Business School Professor Aris Syntetos, Panalpina Chair of Manufacturing and Logistics, and Dr Emrah Demir, Associate Professor, Panalpina Manufacturing and Logistics Research Centre, working with a 3D printer. © Tall and Short Photography

A partnership between Cardiff University and Panalpina - one of the world’s leading providers of supply chain solutions - has been strengthened with the launch of a new Logistics Manufacturing Research Centre.

The Centre, based at Cardiff Business School, has been partially funded by Panalpina.

It will conduct leading research into the fields of distributed manufacturing, 3D printing, the circular economy and the impact of digital manufacturing on global supply chains.

Professor Aris Syntetos, Panalpina Chair in Manufacturing and Logistics Research, will head the new Centre.

He has recently secured a £500,000 research grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) – the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences.

Professor Syntetos was awarded the grant to support the centre’s research into sustainable and circular remanufacturing networks. It will also enable the School and Panalpina to conduct further research on the circular economy, where logistics and manufacturing services in the supply chain are increasingly combined.

“The partnership with Panalpina and the various projects that are now combined under the roof of the research centre allow our students to work on real-life industry problems, ensuring that our research remains relevant for companies and translates into commercial solutions,” Professor Syntetos explained.

“Many of our students have been recruited by Panalpina to put their ideas into practice. With Cardiff graduates now working in locations such as Panama, Dubai and London, it is great to see our research having an impact across the world.”

Mike Wilson, global head of Logistics at Panalpina, added: “Over the last four years of working with Cardiff Business School, we have been able to jointly identify future manufacturing and supply chain trends, and build our business in anticipation of this changing environment. Looking ahead, the insight provided by the research centre will allow Panalpina to better design our customers’ manufacturing and supply chain strategies with new technologies and macro-economic forecasts in mind.”

Panalpina is an advocate of the circular economy, and believes that the future lies in better managing and extending product life cycles – from sourcing to disposal. In an effort to drive innovation in the area, Cardiff Business School and Panalpina have worked together on a number of research projects. This includes the launch of their inventory forecasting application, ‘Demand-Driven Inventory Dispositioning’ (D2ID).