£25m campaign to tackle manufacturing supply chain turmoil rallies industry


An industry-led £25million scheme to tackle supply chain issues head-on has opened up applications from businesses and universities across the UK.

Led by Digital Catapult, the UK’s authority on advanced digital technology, the Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub will create a community of leading companies, tech startups and academics to advance the development and adoption of cutting-edge digital technologies. The four-year project will address critical supply chain challenges facing UK business and industry, from supply and demand imbalances, to risk and resilience and the move to net zero.

Part of the Made smarter An innovation initiative to boost UK manufacturing industries and backed by industry leaders, the Digital Supply Chain Hub will deliver much-needed improvements in data sharing and analytics for manufacturers, enabling them to quickly and with pinpoint supply chain bottlenecks and identify unnecessary waste.

Applications are now open until July 3 with up to £40,000 in funding for research challenges and up to £80,000 for technology-focused opportunities. Companies selected to join the Hub will have access to industrial and technical support, and work in conjunction with industry challenge sponsors including BAE Systems and Schneider Electric.

MSI|DSCH Program Director Tim Lawrence said: Digital Catapult has a wealth of experience building powerful partner ecosystems across industries, as well as a strong track record of delivering capabilities and facilities that deliver a true hands-on technology experience for businesses.

“This program will ensure that UK supply chains are equipped for a new digital age. We look forward to welcoming organizations and universities that want to be part of this vital movement to streamline supply chains..”

Industry Minister Lee Rowley said: This government-backed program will help increase productivity by digitizing supply chains and ensure our manufacturers remain competitive, creating jobs and growth across the country.

“The Digital Supply Chain Hub will help businesses across the UK to develop smarter digital supply chains – reducing manufacturing waste, emissions and helping to get new products onto our shelves more efficiently..”

The Hub’s first round of calls will see applications from innovative UK tech startups, scale-ups and pioneering research organizations to relieve ongoing supply chain pressures. The challenge themes will bring together parties that otherwise might not have collaborated.

The first five summaries of the challenges are:

  • Proof-of-value technology solutions for: Supply chain sustainability, supply chain mapping and supply and demand imbalances.
  • Research frameworks and models to address: Supply chain resilience and collaboration.

Chris Courtney, Manufacturing Made Smarter Challenge Director at UKRI, said:

Resilient and sustainable supply chains are vital to us all and accelerating digital innovation is a critical enabler for the future of supply chains. The Hub brings together innovators and investors to accelerate the pace of innovation, providing opportunities for both those who exploit the technology and those who develop it. This is a national cross-sector approach led by Digital Catapult and we are delighted to officially launch it and encourage UK businesses to commit to it..”

The Digital Supply Chain Hub is funded by the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Made Smarter Innovation (MSI) challenge, and is a collaboration with the High Value Manufacturing (HVM) Catapult, National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and TWI.

The launch of the program follows Digital Catapult Research which highlights that strengthening supply chains is a priority for nearly two-thirds (64%) of UK industry leaders this year.

To learn more about the program and explore all the opportunities offered by the hub, visit digitalsupplychainhub.uk/

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