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New collaborative research center to tackle logistics

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A new collaboration between industry and Virginia universities will look for innovations in logistics.

The Commonwealth Center for Advanced Logistics Systems (CCALS) is modeled after the Commonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM), a collaborative research center based in Prince George County.

The governor’s office said businesses and government members of CCALS, temporarily also based in Prince George, will work with university researchers in tackling logistics challenges. Studies show that 20 to 50 percent of business costs are tied up in logistics.

“CCALS capitalizes on an emerging logistics hub in Central Virginia that includes Fort Lee and a transportation infrastructure that connects to the world,” Gov. Bob McDonnell said in a statement. “Breakthrough research at CCALS will raise the region’s profile further, bringing new businesses, new jobs and new opportunities.”

University partners in CCALS are Longwood University, the University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University and Virginia State University.

CCALS’ first industry members are two Virginia logistics specialists, Prince George-based Logistics Management Resources (LMR) and McLean-based LMI. The companies have signed letters of intent and are working through final membership details.

LMR specializes in worldwide federal government logistics services, supporting installation operations at home and overseas, as well as agency management and business functions. At Fort Lee, home of the U.S. Army’s Logistics University, the company provides logistics training support.

LMI is a nonprofit government consulting firm. It supports more than 40 federal agencies and all branches of the military and intelligence community.

CCALS initially will be financed through a combination of funding from the commonwealth. Annual membership fees, contracts and grants obtained from federal and state government agencies will fund the organization’s research and development activities going forward.

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