Scientific community is focusing on research transfer

Ecosystem for digital innovations develops new dynamic

© Fraunhofer IML - André Terharen
André Terharen - scientific coordinator of the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT

The transfer of research results is still one of the major challenges for scientific institutions. Science is becoming increasingly important for all areas of society. André Terharen from TU Dortmund University reports how the "Leistungszentrum Logistik und IT" (Center of Excellence Logistics and IT) in Dortmund has built a bridge from scientific excellence to transfer.

Today, networking is the key to success (not only) in logistics - whether on a national or international level, whether within companies or at cross-company level. However, networking especially promotes scientific excellence. Since its launch in 2016, the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT has made a significant contribution to fostering scientific excellence in logistics research – exactly through the networking of researchers from a wide variety of logistics research institutions and facilities in Dortmund. The special quality of cooperation is reflected not least in joint research applications, interdisciplinary theses and scientific publications, and the targeted association of industrial and scientific partners.

In the past years, the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT has established a dynamic research community and, at the same time, developed an effective innovation ecosystem that again has developed a high international visibility. Particularly on the interplay of the initiatives Digital.Hub Logistics, Innovation Lab Hybrid Services in Logistics, Digital in NRW (SME 4.0 Enabling Center "Digital in NRW") Dortmund is nowadays perceived as a hotspot for digital innovations in logistics.

The concept of the innovation ecosystem is based on the fact that its partners are linked cooperatively and support each other. Therefore, the focus of activities at the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT has shifted from fostering scientific excellence to transferring services in business and society. The transfer of research is also the declared objective of the recently adopted extension of the initiative.

New research transfer formats are to ensure that scientists and company representatives can work together even more intensely. The offers for further education of all partners will be restructured and supplemented by innovative formats. A current example for this is a technology and knowledge escape game with which the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT makes its own developments visible and come alive. Existing formats of social participation are brought together and the visibility in committees and associations is actively promoted. As a result, multilateral transfer within the ecosystem along the entire innovation chain is promoted and the utilization of research and development results in industrial practice is catalyzed.


André Terharen is scientific employee at TU Dortmund University / Chair of Materials Handling and Warehousing (FLW) and scientific coordinator of the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT.


"We network logistics and IT"

The Center of Excellence Logistics and IT is an initiative of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and intends to further develop the research landscape in Germany with different centers of excellence. The Center of Excellence Logistics and IT is funded by industry, by the Ministry of Innovation, Science, Research and Technology of the State of North Rhine Westphalia and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The participating academic partners of the Fraunhofer-Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML as consortium manager are the Fraunhofer-Institute for Software and System Technology ISST, TU Dortmund University, EffizienzCluster Management GmbH and the Leibniz Institute for Work Research at TU Dortmund University (IfADo). Boehringer Ingelheim and Telekom are the industrial laboratory partners of the Center of Excellence Logistics and IT.