Call for proposals: Impulse for self-organising logistics

24 April 2017

NWO is publishing the call ‘Impulse for self-organising logistics’ on behalf of the Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI). The purpose of the call is to fund a proof-of-concept project that prepares parcel delivery for the Physical Internet. The deadline for applications is 30 May 2017.

Logistics is all about various systems in which goods are transported in networks by load carriers. Examples include the system of sea container logistics to and from the hinterland of seaports, the network of airfreight containers around major airfreight hubs, the transportation of flowers and plants, retail stocking systems using roll containers, pallet groupage, and the distribution of packages of items purchased by consumers online. All these systems will eventually gain elements of self-organisation.

Physical Internet will play an important role in this. Two prerequisites are that all senders and recipients are connected in the same way and that the routing and handling of cargo is standardised and optimised. The purpose of this call is to fund a proof-of-concept project that will prepare parcel delivery for the Physical Internet. Such a project should address a selection of the following issues:

  • Specifying the technical description of smart labels or smart load carriers.
  • Identifying use cases that increase decision-making autonomy and self-organisation in elements of the parcel delivery system.
  • Designing a limited-size fully complex adaptive system for parcel delivery.
  • Developing a blueprint for scaling up to a full parcel delivery system. This blueprint is a system design or redesign, but also includes a substantiation of the investment required to implement the scale-up.
  • Fundamental research on the degree of intelligence and where it should be located in the system.


The Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs has made a maximum of €400,000 available for this call. Researchers may submit a proposal on behalf of a consortium of public and/or private parties. The required minimum co-funding from the public and/or private parties in the consortium is 50%, of which at least half should be contributed by private parties. Co-funding may consist of in-kind and/or cash contributions.


The deadline for the submission of applications is 30 May 2017. The TKI/NWO Executive Board will take a decision in August and applicants will be informed of the outcome in September.

Funding page

Further information

The Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation Logistics (TKI Dinalog) aims to systematically promote and implement public-private partnership in the field of research in the Top Sector Logistics. This concerns innovation through fundamental and applied research and the valorisation and dissemination of knowledge, experience and results. Dinalog, NWO and TNO have joined forces in the Top Consortium for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI) in order to boost innovation in the Top Sector Logistics.

Source: NWO