A "national control tower" monitoring and preventing collapse of essential services

Published on 04/06/2020

What is the ACTING NoW research project?

The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation where new health and socio-economic issues have emerged. From the health sector to food, construction or transport sectors, many fields of activity have seen their supply chain and logistics seriously disrupted. Without a comprehensive view and accurate information regarding the evolution of the pandemic, the resilience of these sectors could be compromised.

The ACTING NoW project, funded by the National Research Fund (FNR), aims to provide the government and Luxembourg companies with a decision-making aid tool. Based on the principals of a “control tower”, this digital tool is similar to an automated dashboard where each user can view in real time data useful for managing their logistics or supply chain, and also have access to a general image of the sector and even of the country. The project will also develop a mobile application that will allow users to receive alerts, among other things.

For example, road carriers could be alerted to the closure of a border or traffic issues. Likewise, a company dependent on international imports would be informed of the status in another European country. Intergovernmental organisations, such as INTERPOL, may also be interested in using the dashboard due to the sharing of cross-border information. Finally ACTING NoW wants to give users the possibility of carrying out simulations, with several scenarios, showing what could happen if their activity is revived at a given time for example.

What is the contribution of LIST in this project?

As the project coordinator, we work closely with the Luxembourg Centre for Logistics and Supply Chain Management at the University of Luxembourg and the public agency INCERT on all phases of the project. We have drawn up and launched a first survey to the Luxembourg players concerned to identify what data to take into account, and a second survey is underway.

Beyond our scientific contribution in terms of logistics, supply chain and IT, we are studying the potential of our advanced immersive environments for large-scale interactive data visualisation at LIST. An environment like our “Visualisation Wall” (VisWall) could indeed provide an improved experience for the control tower.

In six months, the development of the control tower prototype will be accompanied by that of an unprecedented experience of “Digital Twin” for several fields, and this, on a national scale. Digital twin is a concept that aims to replicate an existing situation with a digital system. The work will therefore contribute to improving current knowledge and will be an additional brick to Luxembourg’s national strategy for the development of a Smart Nation.

What is your role within ACTING NoW?

I am the operational project manager of ACTING NoW and therefore have to manage various aspects throughout this research. An engineer by training, my role is very versatile: from IT to logistics, supply chain and project management, I wear many hats. My expertise focuses in particular on urban logistics.

About Cindy Guerlain:

Cindy GUERLAIN is a senior engineer in the IT for Innovative Services department of the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) since 2009. She holds an engineering degree from the Ecole Centrale de Lille (FR) with a specialisation in Logistic transport. Cindy also has a Master of Science in project, programme and business development from the Skema Business School (FR). It combines academic activities with advice for private and public companies. As an expert in logistics and project management, Cindy is involved in various national and European projects relating to transport and logistics, in particular urban. She is a multi-certified project manager with PMP®, Prince2® and HSTP® certifications.

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