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Testbed network applies technology to help navigate complex supply chains

05 September 2022

Supply chain woes could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a new series of digital testbeds, being launched by Digital Catapult, that will apply advanced technologies to help resolve fractured supply chains. 

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A series of national testbeds is being launched to trial digital technology solutions to revolutionise supply chain productivity, sustainability and resilience – as part of the Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub. The four national testbeds will act as a proving ground for technologies like blockchain, quantum computing and Artificial Intelligence to help organisations measure supply chain emissions, optimise inventory management, and automate supply chain mapping.

Leading supply chain organisations are now being invited to play a critical role in the testbeds, where they will have an opportunity to trial new technologies across their critical supply chains without an impact on live production systems. 

For example, a food and drink manufacturer could test a combination of  advanced technologies in a live environment – from machine learning to the Internet of Things – to more efficiently track products from farm to fork, preventing excessive food waste or spoilage. 

Each testbed will receive investments of £1.5 million, comprising funding from Innovate UK and co-investment from the technology community and partners. 

Tim Lawrence, Director of the Digital Supply Chain Hub, said: "For too long, many business leaders have been using better technology to run their social lives than to run their businesses. This is leading to breakdowns in these supply chains which everyone is feeling, whether food to consumers, batteries to car manufacturers, or silicon chips to device makers.

"These testbeds are an amazing opportunity to be at the forefront of the supply chain evolution - working towards net zero, optimising the flow of goods, money and data across the tiers, and making our supply chains smarter."

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