Supply Chain Matters was pleased to receive the announcement this week from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that the government of Ningbo, China is partnering with the MIT Center for Transportation and Logistics (MIT CTL) to create what is to be the sixth supply chain education and research center on a global basis.

The joint initiative will establish and develop the Ningbo Supply Chain Innovation Institute China (NSIIC) which will join the existing MIT Supply Chain and Logistics Excellence (SCALE) network which includes academic and research centers in Cambridge Massachusetts, Bogota Colombia, Zaragoza Spain, Luxembourg City, Shah Alam, Malaysia and now Ningbo China.

Ningbo is home to the world’s busiest port located on the coast of the East China Sea in Zhejiang province. Plans call for NSIIC to be a pre-eminent center for supply chain knowledge creation, to be a global vanguard of supply chain innovation and education alongside a major existing hub for global trade and logistics.

In a statement, MIT President L. Rafael Reif indicated:

“The ability to manage these (supply chain) processes effectively has immense importance for society, from accelerating innovation to reducing carbon emissions. Given the scale and impact of Ningbo’s shipping operations, it will immediately become a central player in the MIT SCALE Network.”

According to the announcement, the building that will house NSIIC has already been identified, and the plans for renovations are underway for the Institute to open in the fall of this year, and with first master’s students matriculating in the fall of 2017.  The NSIIC will be an independent, stand-alone, degree-granting academic institution established under Chinese law. MIT is already working with leaders from the region to recruit top faculty from around the world. The master’s degree will be modeled after the MIT Supply Chain Management Programs.

Supply Chain Matters extends congratulations and best wishes to the government of Ningbo and to MIT CTL for this noteworthy beginning. This author looks forward to perhaps meeting the initial NSIIC candidates at the annual SCALE Student Expo held each year.

Bob Ferrari