Kuehne Foundation and National University of Singapore Set Up Humanitarian Logistics Education Centre in Singapore

Nov 6, 2012

SINGAPORE — The Kuehne Foundation, a public-benefit organisation based in Switzerland, today announced it has partnered The Logistics Institute - Asia Pacific (TLI - Asia Pacific) of the National University of Singapore (NUS), to establish a joint education centre on Humanitarian Logistics.

The Kuehne Foundation — NUS Education Centre for Humanitarian Logistics Asia Pacific is a first for the region. In line with its guiding concept “from/by Asia for Asia”, the Centre housed under TLI - Asia Pacific will be a unique platform for raising awareness and fostering collaboration between regional academics, government agencies, non-profits, universities, students and the commercial sector in this area.

Mr. Karl Gernandt, Chairman, Kuehne + Nagel International AG, and member of the Board of Trustees of the Kuehne Foundation commented, "The Kuehne Foundation is very proud to venture into Asia and open its first overseas office in Singapore as a joint-venture with NUS and TLI - Asia Pacific. The field of humanitarian logistics is so far an untouched subject in the region and the response for education, training and applied science is astonishing.”

“We cannot undervalue the importance of efficient logistics management in the humanitarian context. Increasing numbers of people are affected by disaster in Asia every year and we need to find a way to spread the knowledge and skills of the humanitarian and logistics sectors to our own staff and a growing range of partners that want to play a role in responding,” said Mr. Sean Rafter, Director, Save the Children International.

The Centre will conduct standardised and advanced Supply Chain Management courses and research into best practices and advanced Supply Chain Management thinking in the Humanitarian context. Its activities will be conducted in Singapore and with university partners in Indonesia, Australia, Switzerland and Thailand as research and training satellites in order to extend its reach to where support is most needed.

Professor Tan Eng Chye, Chairman, TLI – Asia Pacific at NUS, and Deputy President (Academic Affairs and Provost, NUS commented, “With Singapore’s global connectivity, pro-business environment and international talent pool, Singapore is well poised to also serve as a humanitarian response hub for the region, for organisations to plan, formulate and coordinate their humanitarian outreach or relief efforts in Asia. We are proud to be a part of this initiative and I wish the Centre and its collaborators every success.”

“We welcome the set up of the Kuehne Foundation - NUS Education Centre for Humanitarian Logistics Asia Pacific in Singapore. This is a strong validation of Singapore’s status as a thought leader in supply chain management solutions. The Centre provides a platform for the non-profit community in Singapore and the region to leverage Singapore’s logistics knowledge and capabilities to advance their developmental and humanitarian efforts in Asia. The training curriculum will also create volunteer opportunities for industry professionals based in Singapore to be deployed to non-profit organisations operating in humanitarian disasters,” said Mr Quek Swee Kuan, Assistant Managing Director of the Singapore Economic Development Board.

In addition to research and training, the Kuehne Foundation - NUS Education Centre for Humanitarian Logistics Asia Pacific will also organise events that bring together some of the largest relief organisations and well-known experts in the field of logistics.

The Centre’s official launch coincides with TLI - Asia Pacific ‘Humanitarian Supply Chains in Asia: The New Frontier’ Conference with keynote speakers and panellists from United Nations World Food Programme, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Save the Children and UPS. They will speak on topics ranging from the need for a humanitarian focus in logistics to capacity development for NGOs and collaborations for efficient humanitarian response.

This is followed by a two-day workshop for thought leaders from academia, the industry and representatives from NGOs, covering different supply chain concepts and their application to humanitarian operations.

Marking the occasion, the Centre launched its first book publication entitled, “Humanitarian Logistics in Asia-Pacific: Challenges, Opportunities and Perspectives” and a humanitarian logistics topic had also been developed and placed in the curriculum for the postgraduate programme to expose students and future Supply Chain Management practitioners to this unique area of practice.

“As the premier institute for logistics & supply chain management research and education in Singapore and the region, TLI - Asia Pacific is honoured to partner the Kuehne Foundation on this strategic initiative. Our strong industry links coupled with our other research activities in Sustainability, Risk Management & Urban Logistics, will be able to bring the commercial logistics and humanitarian worlds together in order to deliver world-class applied research and education programmes that will ultimately help those directly in need,” commented Dr. Robert de Souza, Executive Director, TLI - Asia Pacific at NUS.

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