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History of PARC

Since its inception, a number of organisations and institutes have contributed a wealth of ideas, knowledge and funding making PARC the leading university and industry partnership for research into sustainable manufacturing, logistics and inventory optimisation.

In 2013, Professor Aris Syntetos of Cardiff Business School and Professor Mike Wilson of Panalpina co-founded the Panalpina Research Centre (PARC) after realising that, despite major shifts in global supply chains, most organisations were unprepared and ill-equipped to manage this change.

Watch the PARC and DSV Panalpina KTP video.

The aim of PARC was to bring together industry and academia to investigate current issues in supply chain management, advance knowledge and create tangible solutions for businesses.

PARC Award

In early 2013, Panalpina and Cardiff launched the Panalpina Award (renamed the PARC Award in 2019). Every year, students from Cardiff University work on industry inspired projects, with the best project being awarded the PARC Prize for Strategic and Innovative thinking.

Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)

In November 2013, Panalpina and Cardiff launched their first KTP, a project to investigate new ways to forecast inventory requirements. The project won the 2016 Cardiff University Innovation and Impact award for Business and was shortlisted for the national KTP awards.

Watch the Impact Awards' video.

In 2015, Panalpina and Cardiff launched their second KTP. This was a double KTP, bringing together the Business School with the School of Engineering to develop a new approach to introduce 3DP into global supply chains. The project was successfully completed in 2017 and culminated in the printing of a '3DP watch' case study that was presented at the G7 conference in Canada, the development of a new approach that considers both supply chain and engineering considerations, and the publication of an article in the Journal of Operations Management. The PARC institute has gained experience in numerous KTPs, which can all be found on our research page under projects.

Panalpina funding

In 2016, PARC received direct funding from Panalpina, and the centre officially took up residence in the Aberconway Building of Cardiff University Business School. Employees from Panalpina started working directly with the centre, permanently located in Cardiff.

Honorary role

In 2018, Mike Wilson received the title of Honorary Visiting Professor role at Cardiff Business School. In awarding the title, the Business School highlighted Mike's contribution to the PARC Institute, Cardiff Business School and the university as a whole.


In 2019, Panalpina was acquired by DSV. DSV Solutions decided to maintain and further develop the centre to help advance their research in sustainable supply chain solutions. Although the acronym (PARC) no longer corresponds to the industrial partner, it has been maintained as an established, recognised, and trusted name.

Strategic partnership

In 2023, Cardiff University signed a strategic partnership with DSV - the Danish transport and logistics company. This strategic partnership builds on well-established relationships forged by Cardiff Business School and is another step on the journey the two organisations have enjoyed together over the last ten years. It will allow us to focus on four key areas: Future Global Supply Chains; Sustainability, Circular and Green Economy; Data and AI, and Advanced Manufacturing and Remanufacturing Logistics, reinforcing our commitment to help the industry transition to greener, more environmentally friendly practices.

To the future

The PARC Institute continues to grow and over the last three years has expanded its network of partners while delivering fundamental research and applied solutions to real world problems in the manufacturing and supply chain sector.