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Digital Catapult Global Challenge partners with high growth startups to accelerate UK & Germany’s global leadership in industrial innovation

Posted 8 Oct 2020

Four innovative startups from across the UK and Germany have won the inaugural Digital Catapult Global Challenge UK-Germany after presenting their pioneering solutions to multinational companies CHEP Europe and Siemens at an online international competition held today in London.

Launched in early 2020, the Digital Catapult Global Challenge UK-Germany has helped to drive new opportunities for bilateral collaboration, cooperation and growth between the two countries, by connecting digital startups from across the innovation ecosystems with leading industry players, and sharing knowledge about how to address key challenges facing the industrial sector using transformative technologies like artificial intelligence and distributed ledger technologies.

The Siemens challenge focused on the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to gain operational insights and better understanding of customer usage and behaviour to inform new business models for their industrial drives, which can lead to better performance and energy efficiency.

The winners are:

  • Jitsuin from the UK. Jitsuin’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform is built on distributed ledgers for collaboration and transparency amongst cyber security supply chains and maintenance teams.
  • Prenode from Germany. Prenode brings innovative AI technology to companies that want to enrich their products with AI-based features such as forecast models, automation and predictive maintenance.

The CHEP Europe challenge revolved around grocery freight. CHEP Europe provide a “pallet as a service” concept to a high proportion of the flow of goods from grocery suppliers to retailers across Europe, and wanted to use its transport scale and visibility to help customers improve truck fill and take unneeded capacity off the roads, with consequential benefits in eliminating waste through collaboration, reducing costs, CO2 emissions, road congestion and drivers’ time.

The winners are:

  • Miralis from the UK. Miralis aims to reduce carbon emissions from transport, logistics and the supply chain using data analytics, algorithm development, modelling, simulation, artificial intelligence and machine learning to reduce emissions.
  • Sensefinity from Germany. Sensefinity is creating the internet of cargo where cargo assets autonomously orchestrate with processes to reclaim $1 trillion currently lost annually in global supply chains.

Jessica Rushworth, Director Policy & Strategy at Digital Catapult said, “The Digital Catapult Global Challenge for UK-Germany has built on the strength and importance of innovation collaboration that exists between our two countries. The teams involved in the final today have shown us the range of talent, creative ideas and solutions they can build to solve industry challenges. These exciting high growth companies are evidence of the UK and Germany’s strengths in advanced digital technology innovation, matched with global industrial and sustainability challenges.”

Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade Policy in the Department for International Trade (DIT) said: “Tech and digital are playing an ever increasing role in all sectors, and are integral to our economic recovery from Coronavirus. In fact, this summer we announced a range of measures to boost digital trade and support tech firms in the face of the pandemic. The industry is changing our societies and economies more than any previous technological revolution, breaking new grounds in healthcare, education, finance and clean growth to name a few. Events such as Digital Catapult Global Challenge, celebrate and bring together high-potential start-ups and businesses from across the industry to answer some of the world’s most intricate technological challenges, foster dynamic collaboration and drive forward the international research and innovation that is so vital to global growth and prosperity.”

Thomas Jarzombek, Commissioner of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for the Digital Industry and Start-ups commented: “Digitisation is the key to an economically strong Europe.”

Richard Burn, HM Trade Commissioner for Europe, added: “This is an exciting initiative to create further links between the UK and German emerging technology sectors and to foster collaboration between both ecosystems. Germany is a natural partner for the UK as it is the UK’s second-largest trading partner, our second-largest export market and our second-largest import market. Germany and the UK are both frontrunners in Europe when it comes to the adoption of technology, raising tech funding, and developing talent. This event also marks the launch of DIT’s technology campaign in Germany, which will deliver an innovative programme of landmark events and create an exciting platform to present the UK as global leader, supporting UK priorities in exports, investment and trade policy.”

Katrin Zeiler, Senior Director, Zero Waste World, Customer Innovation and Solutions Europe at CHEP Europe said: “CHEP is collaborating with a wide range of grocery retailers and suppliers to help deliver life’s essentials with the joint vision of a zero waste world. It’s a pleasure to work with the German and UK governments, the Fraunhofer Institute and Digital Catapult to match our challenge to eliminate wasted transport miles to a whole new ecosystem of digital innovators. I am excited to see what new and diverse approaches to this challenge the finalists have taken.”

Imran Agha, Innovation Manager at Siemens said: “Innovation is all about taking novel ideas and creating real customer value. The two Siemens winners for the UK and Germany presented solutions that really matched our challenge and we’re looking forward to future prospects with these start-ups, who can operate with real agility to deliver super-fast digitalisation solutions”

Partnering with leading global industrial companies Siemens and CHEP Europe, and Deutschland – Land der Ideen, a nation branding initiative by the German Federal Government and German industry, the Digital Catapult Global Challenge UK-Germany is funded by the UK Government, through the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for International Trade, and is supported by the British Embassy and Consulate network in Germany and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Science & Innovation Network, along with multiple partners across the UK & Germany.

Digital Catapult will seek to continue the theme of international collaboration with the Global Challenge as it grows and develops in coming years. To learn more about the final pitch day and the companies involved, access the brochure here. For more information on the Global Challenge, click here.