The Digitization for Innovative Supply Chains (DISC) aims to become a Canadian reference for advanced skills and research, in the field of Digitization for Innovative Supply Chains. DISC Consortium will be a platform for members to create and share knowledge; allowing members to collaborate with academia to get involved in applied research to transform their supply chains with digitization and to have access to highly qualified personnel who are trained with new skills for digitization.
The program offers research and training for DISC expertise under three key themes:
- Smart Logistics and Distribution: to design and manage the new norm in logistics and distribution activities that are fully integrated with Robotics, IoT, AI, or Sharing Economy applications.
- Sustainable and Circular Supply Chains: to design innovative supply chains that can achieve netzero emissions and no-waste targets through; for example, circular supply chains, sustainable and autonomous transportation instruments, customer-centric supply chains with on-demand services and with distributed (micro-)manufacturing and storage facilities.
- Resilient and Transparent Supply Chains: to make operational data available and accessible in real time and to utilize this for designing resilient and transparent supply chains.
DISC Skills for Digitization
- Applied statistics
- Data visualization and interpretation
- Machine learning and artificial intelligence
- Modelling and optimization
- Framing and solving problems
- Professional development skills
Membership and benefits
Membership will consist of companies from various industries, with a common goal of participating in collaborative research and training activities. Knowledge will be created through advanced training of new and current employees in DISC, experiential learning and applied research through partnerships, graduate student and/or postdoctoral research fellow funding models. Knowledge will be shared through collaborations, workshops, presentations, and publications.
- Annual meeting & workshop: An annual consortium meeting and workshop will be organized by the University. Speakers from academia and industry will present on:
- the recent advancements in the field of DISC,
- best practices, and
- cutting edge research findings from ongoing collaborations.
- Student projects (Undergraduate/MBA): Interested members will get involved in undergraduate or MBA level Field Investigation projects conducted by four or two students, respectively. Student teams will work for 8 hours per week for 12 weeks, on a DISC related problem defined by the member and the University.
- Direct access to new talent: The University will offer new courses and graduate programs to train students with the new skills required for DISC. Members will have direct access to such talent during their education via projects, internships, and applied research projects and after graduation.
- Guest lecture: Professionals from member companies will have the opportunity to be guest lecturers in DISC related courses.
- Opportunities for curriculum development: Interested members will send delegates to Curriculum Development Committees created by the University to design new graduate programs that impart new skills in DISC.
- Access to white papers based on research: All research projects conducted in collaboration with the members of the consortium will be published in the form of a white paper and will be freely available to the members.
- Specialized workshops: Members can join a specialized workshop to further expand employee knowledge on specific skills required for DISC.
- Training of current industry partner employees in DISC:
- Academia to provide in-house training for industry partner employees on DISC related skills, and/or
- Graduate (certificate/diploma) programs offered by the University
- Process Analysis: Analysis of one current supply chain management process, identified by the industry partner, to identify challenges and opportunities from a DISC perspective.
- Collaborative research through federal and provincial funding:
- Focused research projects with faculty members, PhD students or PDF.
- PhD Student: One dedicated graduate student working 2 days per week at the company and 3 days per week on research for a total of 4 years. Cost of the student matched with federal and/or provincial funding.
- Post-Doctoral Research Fellow (PDF): One dedicated researcher working full-time, 8 hours per day per week, on a research project with the company for 1-2 years. Cost of the researcher matched with federal and/or provincial funding.
Any additional opportunities, as outlined above may require mutual agreement of funding and/or specific terms and conditions.
- Campus Alberta Small Business Engagement (CASBE) - specialized for Alberta small businesses.
- MITACS – Accelerate - specifically tailored to PhD students working on collaborative research projects.
- MITACS – Elevate - specifically tailored to post doctoral fellows working on collaborative research projects.
- NSERC Alliance – Alberta Innovates (AI) Advance Grants - short term funding with priority given to emerging technology target areas.
- NSERC Alliance Grants - short and long term funding options for all types of organizations.
- NSERC Collaborative Research and Training Experience (CREATE) - long term funding to support the training and mentoring of teams of highly qualified students and postdoctoral fellows.
- SSHRC Partnership Engage Grants - short term and timely support for partnered research activities.