The truckload, logistics, and intermodal company J.B. Hunt Transport Services Inc. is making a $2.75 million grant to the University of Arkansas to create the J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence. The center will be a collaborative effort between the company, the College of Engineering, and the Sam M. Walton College of Business to study how to advance supply chain management efficiency through technology.
"Interdisciplinary research projects are a major focus of ours, and this particular collaboration between industry, faculty, and students is a great example of the type of research we continue to pursue," Provost Jim Coleman said.
According to university officials, the grant from the Lowell, Arkansas-based company is one of the largest industry-sponsored research grants the university has received. The Center will allow researchers and students in the fields of engineering, computer science, and business to work with J.B. Hunt employees to find solutions to real-world problems through innovative design and technology-driven supply chain solutions. The center's activities will be led by an Innovation Center Steering Committee, which will consist of approximately 14 members from J.B. Hunt, Walton College, and the College of Engineering.
"As our industry evolves, customers need more intelligent supply chain solutions to meet market demand," said Shelley Simpson, chief marketing officer and president of integrated capacity solutions for J.B. Hunt. "This collaboration is an investment in the future of J.B. Hunt and our ability to deliver customer value."
Simpson is a graduate of the Walton College and remains involved through the Walton College Dean's Executive Advisory Board.