£10m competition for logistics future

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The Technology Strategy Board is to launch a competition aimed at finding ways to move goods more intelligently.

The board exists to support business and promote technological innovation in the UK and has allocated £10m to support research and development of innovative systems and services for more effective freight distribution throughout the UK.

Applicants will be invited to form consortia and apply for investment through a competition call to be launched in the autumn, which will be called Informed Logistics and will aim to find ways to move goods more intelligently.

Stephen Hart, innovation platform leader for intelligent transport systems and services at the board said: “The informed logistics competition recognises the importance of logistics to the UK economy and aims to support the efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness of the UK logistics industry while supporting UK business in developing world-leading solutions to logistics challenges.

“We would like to see the acceleration of marketable solutions for logistics operators that improve efficiencies for time, cost, quality and location of goods, or optimise the use of vehicle capability and capacity.”

The competition aims to find the balance between the use of technology and human decision-making and behaviours.

Rob Furlong from the intelligent transport systems knowledge transfer network said: ”One of the barriers to moving goods more intelligently lies in the choices that logistics customers make. These choices are often not well informed and customers tend to take the easy option which is not necessarily best for them, freight operators or the transport network as a whole.”

“The competition aims to support approaches that inform and influence customers to make better choices and to work more collaboratively with operators and other customers to gain efficiencies overall.”

Informed Logistics also aims to optimise use of the whole transport network by demonstrating joined-up planning for effective movement of goods and enabling more efficient use of existing infrastructure.

“One of the factors affecting use of the whole transport network is the lack of co-ordination up and down the supply chain and between different transport modes,” said Furlong. “The Informed Logistics Competition seeks to encourage cross-business and transport sector collaboration, particularly in developing business cases for innovative solutions in the supply chain and for inter-modal freight movement.”

The Informed Logistics competition will be launched on 2nd November this year and there will be opportunities at the launch and during the autumn to find out more.

For more information please contact Stephen Hart, Technology Strategy Board, 07833 437099, or Rob Furlong, ITS KTN, 07971 503377.

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