In 2011, Rouen Business School participated in the application of a research project pooling many research players based in Upper-Normandy. This project called RISC (Réseaux d’Interactions et Systèmes Complexes) is financed by the European Union and the Upper Normandy region. The Europe commits itself in Upper Normandy with the Fonds européen de Développement Régional. It is managed by Jérôme Verny, an associate professor of Rouen Business School.
The research project aims to answer: why and how the notion of complex networks of interaction is effective in elaborating models and simulations leading to an « intelligent » territorial management.
For the Rouen Business School, the research project centers on the role logistics plays in enhancing territorial competition, in this case, the Seine route.
The research project breaks down into three parts (3 demonstrators):
This demonstrator aims to model the complexity of interactions between users and urban equipment using an interactive framework. Two viewpoints are put forward:
The description of the urban energy, using the impact of popular demonstrations ;
The analysis of the development of collective urban cultural forms
In this demonstrator, we want to show that non linear dynamic models help modelize the emerging behavourial processes at individual and social levels.
Answering the research question: is logistics a territorial development tool? Concretely: Can we develop territorial competition by developing facilities and transportation/logistics-based services?
The project will provide answers by producing model based tools, as well as analysis and observation techniques of these models and data processing simulations applied to concrete applications of intelligent territorial management.
For the Rouen Business School, the typology study will focus on transported merchandise in containers (river, route, rails, sea) in a given territory, defining the situation and potential needs to anticipate in terms of facilities and transportation/logistics-based services.
Due to the lack of existing data to study this typology, we create a specific database.
Second, this base will be completed with quality investigations explaining the remarks taken from statistical analysis carried out from databases.
Logistics activities and those of the transportation chain are evermore integrated, the target is to reduce transportation costs by optimising both flow and traffic management (container, freight…). Today, ports along the Seine, including the Paris river port, which feuded for a long time, are now cooperating. Three ports serve a hinterland of 22 million inhabitants and generate 40 000 direct jobs with an annual traffic of 127 000 tons. These ports must further tighten their bonds, within the « Grand Paris » framework, in view of the creation of a future Seine-Nord-Europe canal for larger sized boats as well.
To optimize merchandise traffic on this axis and promote territories along the Seine, solutions must be found regarding the lack of information accessibility and statistical databases (freight, ships movement…) and the absence of information regarding transport users and different logistic chain players. Today, these players do not have access to databases which provide regular and permanent typologies of transported merchandise in containers.
This part of the RISC project (demonstrator 2) is about territorial competition using facility development especially in transportation/logistics. In France and in Europe, the extension of merchandise transportation networks is limited, due to major investments carried out these last decades to expand all transportation means.
In the socio-economics of transportation, facilities and associated services are inseparable. Indeed, facility analysis yields explanatory elements for a given problem in merchandise transportation. But the rationale can be enhanced by focusing on the organisation implemented around this facility to carry out the exchange of goods.
Some territories have a competitive advantage due to a successful organization even though they may lack a well meshed network. Both logistic sectors, « facilities » and « services » are for instance connected to the spatial organization of production-distribution. As for logistics performance, it is the basis of territorial competition due to reciprocal interactions between logistics and territory.
Logistics is the physical and organizational extension of freight transportation. It is carried out due to a conglomerate effect on the territory (logistics companies concentrate around a node, the same is true for information flows, etc…). Harbour zones, such as the ones along the Seine are privileged places where the concentration of transportation and logistics are making progress.
We will focus on the evolution of optimizing logistics and distribution activities. This entails a global analysis based on big product families to know if their activities require specificities for localization criteria.
Two types of actions can be taken to promote logistics as a means for economic territorial development: