Making Logistics a National Priority for Panama Enabling SME Participation

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1 Making Logistics a National Priority for Panama Enabling SME Participation Don Ratliff Executive Director Georgia Tech Supply Chain & Logistics Institute 1

2 Panama s Logistics Image Panama Canal 2 Expansion in 2015 Logistics is one of 4 economic pillars Finance Tourism Agriculture Logistics Goal is to be a logistics and trade hub for the Americas Ideally Panama functions like a single port

3 Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation & Research Center Goals Improve Panama s logistics performance Establish Panama as a logstics and trade mega hub Sponsor SENACYT 5 Year Plan Competitiveness Agenda Education Agenda Research Agenda 3

4 Role of GT Panama Logistics Innovation & Research Center Provide the repository for logistics and trade data Facilitate the activities of the Logistics Cabinet Provide an objective view of Panama s logistics capabilities and constraints Provide analytics to support Logistics Cabinet decision making Facilitate logistics investment and business development in Panama Provide an objective view of Panama s logistics capabilities and constraints Provide analytics to support Panama logistics stakeholders decision making Enabling logistics entrepreneurship 4

5 Research Agenda Create Data Repositories Create Modeling Framework Logistics Analysis Computational & Visualization Methods Descriptive Models Competiveness Improvement Composite Analytics Process Models Trade Analysis Logistics & Trade Data Network Models 5

6 Research Agenda Create Models of Panama s Logistics Network Develop tools for Logistics Decision Support 6

7 Research Agenda Create Models of Panama s current and potential trade flows Develop Tools for Performing Trade Analytics 7

8 Research Agenda Assess Trade and Logistics Processes 8

9 Research Agenda Design Systems to Measure Performance and Provide Visibility 9

10 Panama Logistics Cabinet Ministry of Commerce & Industry Ministry of Presidency Ministry of Economy & Finance Ministry of Public Works Panama Canal Authority Maritime Authority Aviation Authority Customs Transit and Transportation Authority National Secretary of Science and Technology Metro Secretariat 10

11 Logistics Cabinet Activities To promote Panama as a Center of International Logistics Development of global significance and facilitate the expansion of Global Trade exploitation To capture information from the different entities, to identify strengths and possible weaknesses to overcome To establish a Master Plan and coordinate the implementation of a National Logistics Development Strategy. Very busy people Different backgrounds and knowledge of logistics and trade No dedicated analytical staff Limited time for information gathering and analysis 11

12 Center Support of Cabinet Activities Global Trade Trends Logistics Capabilities Logistics Risk Assessment Projects Needs Assessment Logistics Roadmap Identifies opportunities for large and small logistics enterprises 12

13 Expanding Panama s Logistics Entrepreneurship SMEs successful in providing support services to transportation companies Panama Canal Railroad maintenance Servicing ships (ship chandlers Very little logistics technology entrepreneurship Important missing piece in providing logistics thought leadership 13

14 Why focus on logistics technology entrepreneurship? Panama aspires to be a logistics and trade hub Entrepreneurship and thought leadership is critical to this goal There are increasing opportunities for technology and innovation to improve logistics performance Visibility Decision making Performance measurement Panama has a strong association with logistics Natural for logistics marketing Collaboration with logistics stakeholders Logistics research is primarily realized in software Does not require major infrastructure investment Small companies have traditionally been the primary innovators Increasing importance of logistics to Latin America 14

15 Dynamic Business Ventures Midterm Report Panama incubator network has had little success in generating technology start-ups Incubators not connected to research centers Factors that will contribute the development of new ventures in Panama Perception of the opportunities Recognition and social prestige for entrepreneurs Weaknesses An education system that doesn t stimulate creativity The lack of capital for startups and weaknesses of the capital market Lack of policies and structure for transferring research and development to companies 15

16 Human Capital for Logistics Software Innovation Panama universities graduate 500+ computer science related students per year. Some of the best and brightest students are educated in computer science because of their interest in technology and innovation and then cannot find jobs with these characteristics. The numbers of students graduated is not large enough to support the big software companies such as Microsoft but would be great for small, innovative development operations 16

17 Requirements for entrepreneurship? Role models 17 Family influence Job influence Panama must find a way to prime the pump Cannot rely on spontaneous flow of start-ups Must generate interest in creating start-ups Must expose potential entrepreneurs to successful efforts Must marry ideas with capabilities Must provide hands on experience with start-ups Access to markets Must build for international markets Must get access to international markets Access to capital Chicken and egg problem

18 Recommendations Logistics Cyber City Incubator co-located with Georgia Tech Panama Logistics Innovation & Research Center Incentives to attract logistics software entrepreneurs Incentives to give computer science students hands on experience with logistics software development Incentives to give computer science faculty hands on experience with logistics software development Platforms for logistics stakeholders sharing needs and ideas with incubator participants Visibility for successful entrepreneurs Access to markets 18

19 Questions? Comments? 19

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