Why ePIcenter?-Vilnius Gediminas Technical University

Vilnius university building
Every month we put one of the ePIcenter partners in the spotlight and ask them why they find it important to be part of the ePIcenter project. this month we take a closer look at one of our academic partner, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University.

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH)

Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VILNIUS TECH) is a leading technology university in Lithuania, which strives for a top position in the Baltic region in both technical and engineering education, as well as in the field of scientific research.

The University comprises ten faculties and offers a study programme on three levels: undergraduate (BSc), graduate (MSc) & PhD in 11 fields of science. VILNIUS TECH research activities are implemented at 3 open access research centres, 13 research institutes and 22 research laboratories.

The Transport and Logistics Competence Centre (TLCC), in cooperation with the Transport Logistics Department, represents the University in the ePIcenter project. It is one of the open research centres with the following main priority fields of research: Sustainable Transport, Green transport and logistics, Management of International transport corridors, Traffic Safety & Mobility and Autonomous Vehicles.

TLCC has considerable experience in implementing European projects such as BE LOGIC, BESTFACT, eMAR and other highly valued projects in the transport industry & transport science. The competence center has already completed or is currently implementing the Baltic Sea Region INTERREG flagship projects (namely MARA, Tentacle, Rail Baltica Growth Corridor, EWTC & EWTCII), which are of great importance to implementing the European Union strategy in the Baltic Sea region. The work of TLCC in this area hasn’t gone unnoticed.

TLCC became the coordinating institute of the transport policy of the EU Strategy for the BSR together with the Swedish Ministry of Infrastructure in 2016. Through this cooperation, a significant contribution has been made in preparing a new Transport Action Plan (up to 2027) within the strategy, which the European Commission endorsed at the beginning of 2021.

The new Transport Action Plan prioritises the preparation and deployment of innovations such as digitalisation, automation, 5G, blockchain technologies and synchromodal transport solutions, key to reducing bottlenecks and transport externalities. The aim is to improve the utilisation of payload capacities and integrate transport modes along specific transport corridors.

Finally, the experience of TLCC researchers in EU wide and BSR (regional) projects creates potential preconditions for achieving a synergy effect (from different research programmes) in the ePIcenter project.

Why ePIcenter

International/Global supply chains are becoming longer and more complex, and therefore harder to manage. This increasing complexity results in a loss of efficiency. The ePIcenter project aims to create an interoperable living toolset of software tools, services and methodologies that can be rapidly deployed by a wide range of public and transport industry stakeholders to address the many challenges of the multimodal transport system. The project outcome will help us understand the actual impact of new OBOR routes on EU freight flows and interfaces/nodes capacity needs to link EU (TEN-T) and global networks. It is a great honour and responsibility for VILNIUS TECH researchers to participate in a high-level international consortium in solving global transport/logistics challenges. At the same time, it is an excellent opportunity to apply the innovative research instruments and models developed by VILNIUS TECH researchers. The results achieved by ePIcenter are used to prepare scientific publications and prepare teaching courses for bachelor and master students.

  • Vilnius tech work
  • Vilnius students work

VILNIUS TECH potential contribution to the ePIcenter project

The modern transport and logistics system is affected by many factors and faces various challenges that influence the development of this system and the efficiency of its operation. Transport policy and legal regulation, green logistics, digitalisation with a focus on BIG DATA, integration of transport corridors and smooth organisation of their activities are just some of the global problem areas that require constant monitoring, management and scientific input.

The VILNIUS TECH team mainly focuses on three tasks:

  1. General overview of the EU and international transport policies that affect multimodal logistics operations and related technology solutions.
  2. Identification of requirements & obligations of governmental & researcher data users.
  3. Synchonization of transport flows and activities.
Port of Vilnius
© Saulius Zakarka

An important task assigned to VILNIUS TECH researchers is the responsibility to prepare the final version of the Policy Review. A comprehensive review of the transport policy of the European Union and International institutions is currently being provided to determine the impact of multimodal logistics operations and relevant technology solutions. Particular attention is paid to the EU Low Emission Strategy and the recent initiatives and documents of the DG MOVE and DG REGIO projects because it is essential to timely assess their potential impact on the progress of the ePIcenter project. Together, it is necessary to keep in mind that the transport policies of countries such as the US, Canada, or China have a significant impact on global developments in transport and logistics. Therefore, VILNIUS TECH researchers seek to assess the development trends of transport policy in these countries.

The team of ePIcenter VILNIUS TECH researchers sees new opportunities in the project to encourage collaborative and business involvement of researchers in solving global logistics supply chain management challenges through information flow management and data management mechanisms. Data is still not used to the fullest extent possible, bearing in mind that the proper use of data can help develop successful business strategies, anticipate and manage change, or adapt to it. To this end, it is essential to identify requirements, restrictions, barriers and the nature of existing data exchange or access. Identifying the essence of the existing restrictions opens up the possibility to form solutions for the transport and logistics business. The role of researchers or scientific institutions and governmental organisations should also be mentioned in this context. Cooperation between business and academia is essential to ensure the efficient operation of logistics supply chains. The role of academic research in the supply chain can be described as potential business support for optimisation tasks and risk management analysis and BIG DATA analytics. The last one can be used for decision making, operational efficiency, tactical and strategic tasks, forecasting, data security, proper storage, transparency (visibility), resource-saving, and CO2 footprint reduction. The activities of ePIcenter provide the right conditions to update all these issues and create a real basis for cooperation between business and academia.

To formulate a proposal for the the synchromodal and multimodal transfer zone optimisation in the Baltic Sea Region – Caspian Region transport connection is a very ambitious task that VILNIUS TECH researchers need to tackle.

Map of Europe
Synchronization model vgtu

VILNIUS TECH team intends to adapt the original synchronisation model, which was created together with researchers from Lulea University of Technology (Sweden).

The model could be helpful in performing the following actions:

  • Accumulating small and medium-sized flows of containers to transport them long distances in the selected transport corridor;
  • Organising new container trains (shuttle train traffic) between intermodal terminals along the selected transport corridor (as a new service);
  • Developing intermodality and interaction between transport modes, integrating into a single container transportation a process for both long distances and “last mile” solutions;
  • Preparing and applying service quality standards in transport corridors developed by all stakeholders;
  • Establishing a common information system along the BSR and Caspian Region transport corridor.

The practical benefit we hope for with the presented model is the synchronisation of intermodal activities. This model will enable the stakeholders to achieve time and service cost efficiency in the selected transport corridor.