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Open call

Harnessing Digital Supply Chains for Real-World Impact

Open date: Monday 17 June 2024   Close date: Monday 29 July 2024

Tackling supply chain challenges with digital solutions

The Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub is dedicated to revolutionising UK manufacturing by leveraging digitally-empowered supply chains. The goal is to enhance efficiency, resilience, and sustainability within the industry. As part of this, the Digital Supply Chain Hub testbeds are pivotal in driving this transformative change.

Accelerating the adoption of digital innovation in supply chains requires multi-party collaboration. Technology innovators must develop digital solutions that address key supply chain challenges while business owners need to invest in robust digital infrastructure to facilitate these solutions within their organisations and across their supply chain partners.

This effort demands a clear demonstration of the solution’s feasibility and value, answering two key questions: “Does it work?” and “How will it benefit my business?”. The core of this open call is to demonstrate real business value using the real-world data environment provided by the national supply chain testbeds.

Technology innovators are encouraged to engage with the testbed of their choice to discuss the project scope, as outlined in the eligibility criteria. This collaborative effort will help both parties assess the technical feasibility and business requirements necessary for the application process.

We are providing funding opportunities for UK-based technology innovators through this open call. Innovators will have the chance to demonstrate the impact of their solutions using real-world, multi-tier supply chain data from our testbeds. The programme offers up to £115,000 in cash funding per project, requiring a 50% co-investment commitment from the innovator (see FAQs for more details).

The programme aims to showcase tangible value in real-world scenarios by tackling supply chain challenges identified by three of our testbeds:

  • Food Supply Chain: Enhancing ESG measurements and metrics
  • Hydrogen Supply Chain: Scaling adoption for off-grid sites
  • Spares Supply Chain: Implementing standardised labelling for spare parts

As a delivery partner, Digital Catapult will facilitate and oversee the partnerships between technology innovators and programme collaboration partners, furthering digital adoption and driving innovation forward.

If you believe that your solution aligns with any of the challenge areas mentioned, we encourage you to contact the testbed via email using the provided contact information provided in the Digital Supply Chain Hub link. We welcome applications beyond these specific challenges. If you have a solution that aligns with one of the three testbeds but isn’t explicitly listed, please reach out to the respective testbed for further discussions.

Why should you get involved?

Up to £115,000 to develop and deploy your challenge focused digital technology within the timeframe of the project. This funding will allow for solution/product development which your organisation may not have been able to consider due to resource constraints.

Showcase the practical business benefits of your solution within supply chains and to promote adoption beyond the initial project scope.

Opportunity to participate in the programme networking events, roundtables and introductions to industry leaders, investors and potential customers.

The participant will also have the opportunity to join the future Digital Supply Chain Hub, which will offer a platform for connecting interested digital supply chain stakeholders.

Your project team will assess the current technological, commercial, and strategic requirements. Technology and industry experts will evaluate, refine, and expedite your solution, as well as significantly broaden your network of colleagues, investors, and clients.

Be part of our showcase event, which is an opportunity to participate, pitch and attend meetings at the showcase events in February 2025 and any relevant digital supply chain events.

Who should apply?

  • Technology innovators with a digital solution at TRL 6 or above interested in developing new use cases
  • Solution providers looking to collaborate with relevant industry partners to demonstrate real business value of their solutions
  • Startups that focus on innovative digital solutions which can be applied to any of the challenge areas outlined by the testbed:
    • Food Supply Chain: Enhancing ESG measurements and metrics
    • Hydrogen Supply Chain: Scaling adoption for off-grid sites
    • Spares Supply Chain: Implementing standardised labelling for spare parts

We also welcome applications from those who may have innovative solutions that fall slightly outside the defined challenge areas, yet still align with the overarching themes of the testbeds (food, hydrogen, and spare parts).

Click here to read more about the challenges.

Read more

How to apply and next steps

  1. Please reach out to the testbed associated with your chosen challenge via email using the contact information provided on the Digital Supply Chain Hub link.
  2. Please ensure that a representative from your selected testbed consortium completes the ‘Pre-Selection Collaboration Agreement in Principle for submission with the application.
  3. Applicants must submit their application via the ‘Apply Now’ button below.
  4. As part of the application, you will be asked to demonstrate that you meet the programme requirements for the challenge open call.
  5. Once you start your application you will have until 23:59 BST on Monday 29th of July 2024 to submit your application. Once submitted you will not be able to make any edits.
  6. If you would like to apply for multiple challenge areas using the same technology, please complete a separate application form for each. If an organisation wishes to apply with more than one technology solution, please submit an additional application form per solution.

Should you require any assistance with the application you can reach out to [email protected] to explore the suitability of your idea for the challenges.

You can also join us for Circle discussions and collaborate with industry experts by signing up today and asking in the Digital Supply Chain Hub.

For further information, please click here for frequently asked questions (FAQs).

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