Idea to Innovation Center
The journey of the Jordan Innovation Center for Logistics started in 2018. In a Flying Faculty cooperation between Hochschule Fulda and German Jordanian University (GJU), a discrepancy was discussed: How come Jordan has so many bright young students and innovators, but still many challenges and little innovation in the logistical sector? One answer to this question could be the apparent lack of coordination and cooperation in the logistical field, especially regarding research and innovation. Other conclusions could point out the insufficient representation of logistics as an academic field – no university but the GJU was offering related degrees.
Following these learnings, the idea to bundle all stakeholder groups, from logistical forwarders to political actors and start-ups, in one collaboration network was born. An imagined Jordan Innovation Center for Logistics was going to tackle the challenges in logistical practice by bringing together all interest groups of the sector. Their combined strengths were to initiate research projects and trainings to ultimately improve the applied logistics in the whole Hashemite Kingdom.
A grant scheme regarding innovation in the Middle East by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) was applied for and granted. Between November 2018 and October 2019, the preparation phase of JOINOLOG was conducted. The feasibility of such an innovation platform was the focus of this year: Can a center like this sustainably exist in the Jordanian logistics landscape? How does the Jordanian landscape in research and logistics look like in detail? Which actors were required in this endeavor? Hochschule Fulda led the research in this phase, visiting Jordan and conducting workshops, while staying in close coordination with GJU. Multiple students from the Jordanian university were working on the project in Germany, providing valuable insight exceeding their research. The preparation phase was supported by associated partners in both countries as well, representing the different stakeholder groups in logistics. Private companies took part just like public actors and associations, all participating in workshops to describe the circumstances, in which they can imagine JOINOLOG coming into existence.
The preparation phase’s results were distinct: Yes, an innovation center for logistics is possible, needed and wanted by the local logisticians and researchers. By adequately communicating these results to the Federal Ministry, Hochschule Fulda secured funding for another three years for JOINOLOG, which is considered the second phase of the project.
This so-called implementation phase in JOINOLOG’s development was started in February 2021. Since then, GJU is officially co-conducting the project and a Project Advisory Board (PAB) was chosen.
The next three years will bring the Jordan Innovation Center for Logistics into existence, with initial research projects and trainings taking place within this timeframe as well. A network of Jordanian logisticians of all professions will collaborate to improve the practice of logistics sustainably, using innovative technology and research-based procedures. The logistical start-up will find a home in Jordan’s rich innovation landscape, working tirelessly on the future of the sector.