Together with the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Noorderpoort and 18 regional partners, the University of Groningen is receiving a large subsidy from the NWO (Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research) and TKI Dinalog (Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics) for starting a living lab for transport and mobility. This living lab, to be known by its acronym SMiLES (Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics Enable Sustainability), will focus on open mobility and logistics networks building on concepts of the sharing economy. SMiLES becomes part of Hive.Mobility, which opened on July 5 in Groningen. The living lab SMiLES is one of eight nationally assigned projects for transport and mobility. The exact subsidy amount will be announced later by NWO.
In the living lab, new knowledge is developed and concepts are tested and validated in a public-private partnership. The Northern region, with its combination of urban and rural areas and islands, provides a unique setting for this integrated approach. We will be studying the role of new technology, behavioural factors, ethical standards and the relevant legal frameworks, as well as developing business and organization models within sub-networks An interdisciplinary research team consisting of 16 researchers from 7 faculties of the University of Groningen and researchers from Hanze University of Applied Sciences, will be joining forces to address these issues.
The organizations involved in addition to the already mentioned educational institutions are: Province of Groningen, Municipality of Groningen, KPN, Wagenborg, Arriva, Qbuzz, OV Bureau Groningen Drenthe, Bidfood, Groningen Bereikbaar, Haven Lauwersoog, Horus View and Explore, Koopman Logistics Group, New Energy Coalition Foundation, New Generation Shipyards, Vinturas, Suikerunie, Natuur & Milieu and 5Groningen.
In addition to research and concept development, the living lab will also devote a great deal of attention to training young talent, challenging students in all levels of further and higher education to engage in collaborative problem-solving activities. Newly acquired knowledge will be shared more widely via Hive.Mobility.