Information provided by Governors State University
UNIVERSITY PARK, Ill. (May 11, 2023) – Governors State University, in collaboration with the Illinois Innovation Network, has received one of the first-ever National Science Foundation’s Regional Innovation Engines awards to lead the Advancing Smart Logistics team.
The award is an effort to lay the foundation to make Illinois one of the nation’s most advanced transportation and logistics hubs.
This project, funded by the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (the first new directorate of the National Science Foundation in 30 years), will develop and introduce smart logistics innovations, while also including an integrated plan to ensure that workers can attain long-term employment and participation in new and existing industries.
The $1 million National Science Foundation Engines Development Award supports GSU and its partner organizations through a two-year planning phase to create connections and develop local innovation ecosystems, with the goal of preparing a strong proposal to become an NSF Engine and receive up to $160 million to positively impact Illinois’ economy, accelerate technology development, address societal challenges and ensure equity for those in underserved communities, advance national competitiveness, and create good-paying, local jobs.
“Advancing Smart Logistics is a transformative project centered around innovation and supporting the creation of greater societal, economic, and technological success for our state,” said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker. “Illinois is a nation-leading hub for technology and progress, and this NSF Engines Development Award will further advance partnerships across sectors, organizations, and educational institutions.”
Advancing Smart Logistics is among the more than 40 unique teams to receive one of the first-ever NSF Engines Development Awards, which aim to help partners collaborate to create economic, societal, and technological opportunities for their regions.
Advancing Smart Logistics aims to build an equitable economic development around advances in transportation logistics, including automation of middle-mile freight trucking systems, deployment of drones and electric vehicles, and regionalizing inland waterway freight and Corn Belt ports. It also aims to identify strategies for re-skilling and up-skilling individuals whose career paths are disrupted by automation, and seeks to ensure that workers in local and sub-regional economies can attain long-term participation in new and existing industries.
“This NSF Engines Development Award will enable GSU’s Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator to collaborate with other Illinois Innovation Network hubs and partners in the private sector throughout the state, and lay the groundwork for a successful Type 2 application in two years,” said Reggie Greenwood, Director of GSU’s Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator, and Advancing Smart Logistics principal investigator. “ASL will leverage Illinois’ world-class research capacity, logistics assets, workforce development, and training resources to develop an ecosystem for smart logistics and contribute to the competitiveness of the U.S. economy.”
“As the only public university in Chicago’s Southland, GSU plays a vital role as an economic catalyst in our region” said Dr. Cheryl Green, President of Governors State University. “I’m glad that through the efforts of our faculty and staff in the College of Business and Supply Chain Innovation Center and Business Incubator, we are making a significant contribution to the economic development of our region and our state.”