Smart Micro-logistics for the Rural Economy

How can small rural food businesses use technology to their advantage? SMILE is developing software solutions for micro-businesses in rural areas to organise their transport and logistics needs and so that they can show their uniqueness.

For more information, please contact John Nelson.

Project Objectives

Semantic Software Infrastructure

To develop a platform with a number of applications for rural producers, logistics providers and consumers.

Rural Producers

Allow rural producers to tag their products and to provide detailed-information pertaining to the products related to provenance and traceability.

Logistics Providers

Enable small-scale logistics service providers to use smart phones to report detailed updates for delivering items.


Allow consumers to obtain a seamless view of the entire supply chain of received products, to review products and to share  on social networks.


Inform and guide stakeholders about different degrees of compliance with regulations and policies in the supply chain.


Suggest potential opportunities for collaboration between stakeholders based on their provenance records.


  • Professor John D. Nelson (Principal Investigator), Centre for Transport Research
  • Professor Pete Edwards (Co-Investigator), Computing Science
  • Professor Tim Norman (Co-Investigator), Computing Science
  • Dr Martin Kollingbaum (Co-Investigator), Computing Science
  • Dr Maja Piecyk (Associate Investigator), Heriot-Watt University, Logistics
  • Dr Andy Crabtree (Associate Investigator), Nottingham University, Ethnography
  • Saskia Van der Loo (Research Fellow) Logistics
  • Angela Marqui (Research Fellow) Logistics
  • Liang Chen (Research Fellow) Computing Science
  • Edoardo Pignotti (Research Fellow) Computing Science
  • Stavros Karamperidis (Research Fellow) Logistics

Project Partners

The SMILE project is working with a number of small and medium rural businesses to investigate user experiences and requirements.

Key Outcomes

  • Software and expertise developed as part of the SMILE project is being deployed in a Knowledge Exchange project with Happerley Farmed to deploy the technology in the context of Provenance and Traceability in the Rural Food Chain.