Linking education and business with the Knowledge Triangle

by Nicole Geerkens, Executive Director, European Logistics Association

The Knowledge Triangle, an EU initiative, aims to foster interaction between education, research and innovation, thereby creating the conditions for increased relevance and utilisation of universities’ activities. In other words, how the programmes of higher educational institutions can be linked more closely to the needs of the market.

One of the projects resulting from this initiative in supply chain management is Framelog. The Framelog project links the knowledge triangle of higher education, business and research for the systematic analysis and development of supply chain and logistics learning programmes. A county’s economic performance is influenced by its overall logistics performance, which in turn is affected by the quality of its workforce at all levels. With the increasing recognition of the importance of the supply chain and an acknowledged shortage of skilled personnel, it is clear that a co-ordinated and collaborative approach to education has to be adopted in order to build the relevant skills and competencies required by employers.

Knowledge Triangle - image provided by European Logistics Association

Several tools resulted from this project. For example, a compendium of good practice that can be used as an inspiration for companies as well as universities to enhance collaboration. Next to this compendium a self-assessment has been developed where the organisation gets a view on the level of their involvement in the knowledge triangle. Together with the guidelines for implementation, these tools can facilitate a better collaboration between the industry, education and research. Using the network of the European Logistics Association (ELA), these outputs were evaluated and valued by stakeholders from 13 countries. These tools can be found in the project results of the project at

With the tools from the Framelog project, the ELA has already developed standards of competences and accredits university programmes using these standards. Bringing the programmes of the universities closer to the needs of the industry from a supply chain perspective and in conjunction with the tools from the Framelog project ,we are one step closer to achieve the general aim of the association: empowering supply chain management.

Anyone can check their own knowledge and competences on a free-to-use self-assessment tool based on the ELA standards of competence. Just give it a try at