We are very pleased to announce that we have secured a £4m innovation grant for an advanced manufacturing consortium including;
- UNIVERSITY OF EXETER
- UNIVERSITY OF LINCOLN
- INTELLIGENT MAINTENANCE SYSTEMS LIMITED
- DIGITAL CATAPULT
- CHEP UK LIMITED
- R3 LIMITED
- SWEETBRIDGE EMEA LTD
- TATA COMMUNICATIONS (UK) LIMITED
- WORLDLINE IT SERVICES UK LIMITED
One of the largest Innovate UK grant given out this year, this takes our total amount of grant funding secured for UK businesses to well over £37m.
The Made Smarter Review estimated the UK food and drink industry could realise £56bn in productivity growth and efficiency savings over a 10year period through the wide-spread adoption and integration of novel IDTs across the supply chain.
Working with a large consortium of manufacturers, supply chain partners, industrial digital technology (IDTs) suppliers, trade and governmental organisations, Raynor Foods Ltd, a leading UK sandwich will develop a national and open demonstrator of a digitalised food supply chain – an open multi-party software platform, connecting supply and value chain stakeholders from food primary production to retail to increase business productivity, agility and resilience.
Although this is a national food supply chain demonstrator, the UK sandwich industry is worth over £5.6bn, employs over 325k people and is growing at 4.2%CAGR. Recent, well-publicised, health and safety issues (NHS Listeria outbreak and Pret/allergic reaction) have thrust issues around production methodology, traceability and accountability in the supply chain into the public-eye .
The highly-fragmented, fast-moving nature of these supply chains leaves critical segments of the industry suffering a perfect storm of challenges, impacting labour (availability / cost) and resource productivity, waste (product and financial), brexit impacts on international supply chains and consumer safety.
Although the adoption of new IDT technologies such as Blockchain-DLT, integrated IoT platforms and AI analytics has occurred in large, international companies, there are an estimated 10,000 SME suppliers who can’t afford/don’t have access to these technologies, and without industry-wide adoption (and IDT compatibility) the benefit of IDT has so far been limited.
In this collaborative proposal, we will fuse 3 IDT’s (Blockchain-DLT, IoT and AI) and demonstrate them within a sandwich manufacturing supply chain. Via immutable traceability, a Blockchain-DLT enabled supply chain will drive trust across the food sector, IoT will integrate critical meta data and new AI driven analytics will drive productivity/ reduce waste.
Technologies developed will be demonstrated by Raynor Foods . When scaled nationally this novel integrated stack of IDT’s will optimise and simplify national, cross border and international food supply chains, increase productivity by ~10%, reduce inventory waste by ~14% and generate £2.8bn GVA within 10 years.
Whilst food and digital sectors are the exemplars in this demonstrator project, the consortium’s vision (particularly the technology partners) and priority will be to share best practices, technology and learning across multiple industrial domains that have complex, fast moving and high trust requiring supply chains such as pharma, aerospace, automotive etc.