JD.com is to launch a multi-million dollar Global Supply Chain Innovation Centre (GSIC) in a bid to challenge the likes of Amazon and Alibaba.
The company said the move would promote the development of next-generation smart supply chain technologies, and has been designed to act as an international hub for smart supply chain research and innovation.
Its centre will bring together global industry experts, companies, universities and other institutions, and will serve as a platform to share resources, expertise, insights, and technologies.
The various organisations will work together on research projects focused on new technologies and processes, empowering more enterprises with smart supply chain capabilities.
The GSIC will operate across six key international regions – China, Silicon Valley and Chicago in the U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, and Australia.
Commenting on the launch, Yu Yongli, head of JD.com’s JD Y business unit, which is focused on smart supply chain innovation, said, “JD.com has built up an incredible wealth of expertise and experience in supply chain management, including cutting-edge technologies like AI, big data, blockchain and Internet of Things.
“By sharing our resources with leading experts from academia and business, and supporting R&D of emerging technologies, we will empower the GSIC to develop the next generation of smart supply chain infrastructure. These technologies both enhance our own business and enable companies around the world.”
The GSIC will be overseen by an expert committee consisting of academics in supply chain innovation and management who will be responsible for guiding R&D efforts at the Center and will serve as mentors and advisors.
Hau L. Lee, a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Thoma Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, who will serve as the chairman for the GSIC, will lead the GSIC. Other key members of the expert committee include:
David Simchi-Levi - Professor at MIT; Supply Chain Designer for “Mars on Earth” Project; Former Chief Scientist at ILOG (IBM)
Xiande Zhao - JD.com Chair of Operations and Supply Chain Management; Professor at CEIBS
Yinyu Ye - K. T. Li Chair Professor at Stanford University; Winner of the John von Neumann Theory Prize
Michiel Steeman - Professor of Supply Chain Finance at the Windesheim University of Applied Sciences; Founder and Chairman of the Supply Chain Finance Community
Benoit Montreuil – Coca-Cola Material Handling & Distribution Chair; Professor and Co-Director, Supply Chain & Logistics Institute, Georgia Institute of Technology
JD also announced its inaugural operations research algorithm competition, which aims to bring together global experts in the field to foster supply chain innovation. The competition is expected to be launched later this year.