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Digital Innovation fund open to transform Britain's supply chains

UK Research and Innovation has announced the opening of a multi-million pound funding pot today (July 6) to help tech and manufacturing businesses to transform supply chains.

Businesses can now apply for funding for projects of up to £1.5m, to develop digital technologies that could provide a more efficient, productive, flexible and resilient UK manufacturing sector.

By redesigning or re-engineering supply chain concepts, businesses have the potential to use the funding to improve results for existing supply chains and expand into new markets during the Covid-19 recovery and beyond.

The competition, part launched by Government-backed Made Smarter, has been separated into two principle strands, the first being feasibility studies, aimed at projects ranging between £250,000 and £500,000 in size lasting up to six months.

The second strand is industrial research, which is looking for projects of between £1m and £3m lasting up to 24 months.

Both projects open today and close for applications at midday on Oct 7 2020, and require the consortia to include at least one SME.

The funding has come from the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund and the competition is led by Innovate UK, with a view to boost the supply chain by using digital to predict supply chain shortages and demand spikes as well as other creative solutions.

Jurgen Maier, Co-Chair Made Smarter said: “Post Covid, more use of digital technologies can have a turbo-charge effect on kick-starting the economy as a whole. Creating resilient and efficient supply chains is a key component of that, where better data analytics, modelling and connectivity can help drill down into supply chains and improve efficiencies very significantly.

“Looking to improve supply chain operations will give business a much-needed boost as they work flat out to replenish their order books as we slowly come out of the current crisis. This new funding pot will enable the best and most forward-thinking minds to come together to create world class supply chain technologies which will end up being the new must-have for companies in the global market.”

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