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Funding available for digitalising supply chains

Manufacturers and tech businesses can apply for funding to develop innovative digital technologies that help to redesign, re-engineer or improve the efficiency of manufacturing supply chains.


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The funding, available through Innovate UK’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, is part of the wider Made Smarter initiative and is open to business-led consortia that include at least one SME.

The aim of the programme is to develop digital technologies and work with manufacturers to rethink and restructure the way they operate their supply chain, or design completely new supply chain concepts for new products and processes.

Projects can cover:

  • Supply chain design: Effective risk management; inventory optimisation; sustainable supply chains; warehouse and logistics optimisation; confidence in shared data; and new supply chain business models
  • Supply chain execution: Demand management, sensing and shaping; proactive use of demand data; delivery performance; improved decision-making through analytics; production planning or scenario modelling; and track-and-trace technologies.

The competition is separated into two stands: feasibility studies and industrial research. Applications for both close on 7 October 2020.

Supply chain management has been in the spotlight since the outbreak of COVID-19, which caused significant disruption to supply across the globe.

According to a recently-published global survey of 900 top-level executives by Accenture, the top 10 per cent of supply chain performers stand above their peers partly by investing in digital innovation and data-driven insight.

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