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We join the elite global alliance to tackle challenges facing ports

16 Dec 2013

The University of Sydney Business School's Institute of Transport and Logistic Studies (ITLS) has joined with six of the world's leading research institutions in an effort to address the complex challenges facing ports and their related maritime and logistics industries.

The group, to be known as the Global Port Research Alliance (GPRA), aims to establish a global research and training platform in port operations, maritime and logistics through collaboration between its members and with industry.

"We will pool our expertise, share our resources and encourage academic research and research consultancy in the ports sector," said Professor Michael Bell, Chair of Ports and Maritime Logistics at the ITLS.

"Despite the global nature of the ports and the maritime logistics industry, port research has tended to take place in national silos," Professor Bell said. "The GPRA is an attempt to form an international network and link in to work being carried out in other leading institutions."

Initially, the GPRA will hold a series of international workshops on themes related to ports in order to establish a research agenda. The first workshop, to be held in Sydney in April, will be titled FACT2014 (Future Automated Container Terminals).

The workshop will allow GPRA member to meet formally for the first time.
"We plan to let the alliance develop organically through these meetings held around international workshops," Professor Bell said. 

"Although it is intended to keep the alliance compact, we will work closely with many other national and international bodies, like the World Bank, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and Australia's Information and Communications Technology Research Centre, NICTA," he added.

The alliance's elite membership spans four continents and includes Imperial College, London; the Malaysian Institute for Supply Chain Innovation; the Massachusetts based MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics; the National University of Singapore; the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and University of Hamburg.

"The GPRA has as its members some of the world's most prestigious universities and such a partnership will provide significant opportunities for Sydney to contribute on this world stage of excellence and pre-eminence," concluded the Founding Director of the ITLS, Professor David Hensher.