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KnowRisk report: using digitalisation to transform the supply chain 

Posted 17 Dec 2021

With labour shortages and crippling logistics issues, the strain on supply chains is continuously documented, as recent disruptions weigh heavily on economic activity and recovery.  


Although supply chains were already in need of a redesign, the economic shocks caused by Covid-19, the Suez Canal blockage and the UK leaving the European Union significantly increased the risk profile for industry, stressing the urgency for change.


Digital Catapult is part of a consortium that aims to reduce the risk and impact of supply chain disruption through the KnowRisk project.


The KnowRisk solution provides real-time visibility into the risks faced by businesses and insurers across the supply chain.  


Currently, business owners have little insight into the risks within their supply chain, but with visibility across the network, they could minimise the impact of disruption. Using the KnowRisk solution, a business can combine its internal data, alongside accounting, insurance and legal (AIL) data, augmenting this with geospatial, Internet of Things (IoT) data and over 300 third-party data sources to create a 360-degree view of risk. 


The KnowRisk Report: sector challenges and insights 


Digital Catapult has conducted a series of reports on behalf of the KnowRisk consortium to help understand the issues, themes and drivers associated with mitigating risks to supply chains. 


The resulting document is a combination of the following five reports published to inform the KnowRisk project, wider industry and policy development:  


KnowRisk: Ethics report

With any new technology, there are always ethical issues to consider. As the KnowRisk pilot combines various technologies, includes multiple players and can potentially impact several companies financially, it is important to identify any ethical concerns.


To document and address these concerns, the activities completed by Digital Catapult, consortium members and ethics consultants included:

  • Revising the Digital Catapult Ethics Framework
  • Developing a collaborative ethics roadmap
  • Evaluating and adapting applied AI ethics tools


KnowRisk: Ethics tools report

As part of the KnowRisk ethics workstream, Digital Catapult adapted and tested two applied AI ethics tools to enhance the transparency and robustness of the federated learning system developed for this project:

  • Model score cards for federated model reporting
  • Record on negative impact (RONI): an adaption of Reject on Negative Impact


KnowRisk: Construction report

As the construction industry is heavily dependent on supply chains, any change can have a significant impact. Digital Catapult led policy engagement sessions to examine risks within the construction supply chain and identify barriers to introducing new technologies.


KnowRisk: Food and drink report

Although the industry recognises an urgent need to assess the supply chain, it has been reluctant to adopt advanced technologies. Digital Catapult led policy engagement sessions on this topic, recognising that any risks or benefits must be considered throughout the industry and accurately reflect a mix of company sizes, global locations and positions within the supply chain.  


KnowRisk: Federated learning as a service

The distributed nature of both the KnowRisk consortium and the network of users on this platform raises key privacy concerns. To address this problem, the KnowRisk platform uses a federated learning approach (FL), which is essential when one or more data owners need to adopt machine learning solutions that are trained on and run using distributed confidential data.


The KnowRisk report includes findings and recommendations based on programmes and activities completed by Digital Catapult as part of the wider KnowRisk project. 


The KnowRisk Project


The KnowRisk project utilises artificial intelligence (AI); distributed ledger technologies (DLT); and geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) to collect, analyse and verify risk insights. The partner companies involved in the KnowRisk project are SweetBridge, Engine B, Cystellar, Digital Catapult and Intelligent AI, with Sweetbridge being the leading partner. 


For more information, visit the KnowRisk website.

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