Wincanton yesterday launched the fourth edition of ‘W2 Labs’, an innovation lab designed to discover emerging ideas and tackle some of the industry’s toughest challenges.
Created and run in collaboration with corporate innovation partner, L Marks, W2 Labs is Wincanton’s innovation programme that encompasses a number of initiatives to foster supply chain innovation and bring together an ecosystem of industry-leading partners.
Since 2017, W2 Labs has driven collaboration with 20 early stage businesses. These technologies include: wearable technology which helps workers reduce the risk of musculoskeletal injuries; autonomous mobile robots; continuous labour optimisation fuelled by machine learning; global asset intelligence and visibility; online recruitment assessment tools; and innovative approaches to utilising spare freight and warehouse capacity.
Building on the success of the previous Labs, this year’s programme will invite a range of technologies and solutions to focus on some new and exciting areas of the Wincanton business. A wide variety of businesses will be selected to join the lab and receive mentorship from Wincanton’s subject matter experts and senior management. Furthermore, applicants will have the opportunity to trial their solution in a live environment.
Applications opened yesterday and solutions are sought to challenges including ‘Digital fulfilment’, ‘ESG’, while there is also a ‘Wildcard’ category for technology and robotics.
“At Wincanton, we see digital innovation and transformation as crucial in our relentless focus on building sustainable and resilient supply chains for our customers,” commented James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton. “W2 Labs is an exciting time of the year when we create opportunities to collaborate with emerging talent to partner with us to create products which add real value for our customers, our colleagues, our business and our industry as a whole.”
“L Marks is thrilled to embark on a fourth year of W2 Labs with Wincanton,” added Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks. “Building on the successes of the past three Labs, we will discover and connect Wincanton with some of the world’s most exciting and innovative startups and scale-ups. With innovation being at the heart of what they do, Wincanton will once again bring decades of industry experience to W2 Labs, embracing the entrepreneurial ideas, and driving business forward.”