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Open and connected networks

Shared connectivity in Mobility and Logistics Enable Sustainability (SMiLES)

In the climate agreement it has been agreed that the logistics sector will achieve a 49% CO2 reduction by 2030. To achieve this, the sector has put forward a number of plans, such as intensifying emission-free city logistics, distribution hubs on city edges, efficient use of vehicles and making vehicles more 'green', for example by using electricity or switching to other sustainable fuels such as hydrogen.

One way to reduce the environmental impact of logistics while ensuring the quality of services is to move to a system that shares resources, information and responsibilities.

SMiLES is a ‘living lab’, in which we use the Northern region as a test center for the opportunities of logistics sharing systems. At the same time, we try to understand which barriers there are and how we can tackle them. We are doing this by joining the forces from seven faculties of the University of Groningen, each of which contributes with a unique expertise. Together with some of the most important public and private partners from the region, we are looking at the economic, technical, legal, ethical and psychological and practical opportunities and barriers of various logistics sharing systems. We link practical cases to scientific cases in order to obtain new knowledge that can immediately be put in practice. In order to ensure that the rapid change in the sector is directly translated into education and that the link between training and work is optimal, we want the living lab to be a place where science, practice and education come together in different learning environments.

For more information, check out the website of SMiLES.

This research project is part of the research programme Sustainable Living Labs, which is co-financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO), the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Taskforce for Applied Research (SIA) and the Top Sector Logistics.