New innovation and visitors’ center for the logistics sector

Published on 28/01/2022 in Solution news

Startups and scale-ups work at Log!ville alongside big businesses and knowledge centers. The demonstration center presents innovations for the logistics sector, with co-creation and the connectivity of Proximus as an indispensable element.

New innovation and visitors’ center for the logistics sector

Log!ville is a brand-new demonstration center for the logistics sector. The demo room in Niel offers a mix of innovative applications from startups that are given the ideal platform to present themselves, alongside scale-ups, large companies – including Proximus – and knowledge institutions.

“We focus on both the immediate and distant future,” says Patrick Aertsen, general manager at Log!ville. “We give an idea of what's in store in the next ten years, but also introduce visitors to new solutions that are available now.”

Societal challenges related to sustainability and mobility

Many of the challenges Log!ville tackles are burning issues of the day. They concern major social issues such as sustainability and mobility, including the evolution towards electrification and self-driving vehicles. “It is also about autonomous warehouses, logistics in the context of smart cities, or tube logistics, the hyperloop system that Elon Musk, among others, is experimenting with. We guide visitors through the experience center, but we also enter into a debate with them, in order to find out about the actual challenges that companies in the logistics sector are facing today.”

A great many innovative applications in the logistics sector rely on connected objects.

Patrick Aertsen, general manager at Log!ville

Solutions with drones, picking robots and digital twins

In a separate zone within Log!ville, companies propose concrete solutions. Here too, there is a wide variety. “There is, for example, a drone that registers stocks in the warehouse, down to the level of the individual boxes on a pallet,” says Aertsen. “But there are also picking robots, innovative warehouse lifts, applications with digital twins, and so on.” Big companies like Proximus or Toyota Material Handling demonstrate shoulder to shoulder with startups and scale-ups. The program changes every six months and new partners are introduced.

5G as a common thread for connected objects

The involvement of Proximus is a clear thread throughout many of the proposed solutions. “A lot of applications rely on connected objects,” said Aertsen. “As a supplier of reliable and secure connectivity, Proximus is the obvious choice.” Moreover, the arrival of 5G will also enable many new applications in the logistics sector: the tracking of large quantities of connected goods, drones, smart cameras, autonomous vehicles, and so on.

Companies large and small come together in Log!ville – under the banner of co-creation – to develop new, innovative concepts.

Patrick Aertsen, general manager at Log!ville

Testing in a logistics environment

The interesting thing about Log!ville is that companies can trial their test cases in a real, working logistics environment. The fact that it often involves close cooperation is an important element. In this way, startups can surf on the experience and expertise of an established name such as Proximus. “But it certainly also works in the other direction,” said Aertsen. “Big companies come into contact here with startups that might otherwise remain under the radar for longer. We bring all those parties together and offer an environment in which they can come up with new solutions together.”

Co-creation: from startup, scale-up to big company

In practice, startups and scale-ups often find it difficult to market their innovation quickly. It is not always easy to develop a proof of concept, if only because those starters – with their relative ignorance – do not always have easy access to the logistics companies or partners that can help them move forward. “That's exactly the gap we fill with Log!ville”, Aertsen concluded. “Large and small companies can – under the banner of co-creation – develop a concept here together, demonstrate it at Log!ville, and then scale up in the market.”

Patrick Aertsen is managing director at Log!ville.

Log!ville was founded with the support of VIL (The Flemish innovation platform for the logistics sector), VLAIO (The Flemish Innovation and Enterprise Agency) and the European Regional Development Fund.

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