Data science consultancy and software development company Miralis has won the first ever Digital Catapult UK-Germany Global Challenge, after presenting its pioneering AI solution to multinational platform solutions company and supply chain expert CHEP Europe.
CHEP Europe challenged Miralis, and other fast-growing tech start-ups in AI in the UK, to address a key challenges facing manufacturing supply chains, as part of the inaugural competition run in the UK and Germany by the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre, Digital Catapult, and backed by both countries’ governments.
Miralis’ solution not only addressed the challenge – which focused on grocery freight and how technology could improve delivery efficiencies for its customers, whilst reducing waste, costs, road congestion, drivers’ time and carbon emissions – but took it further, combining innovative forecasting techniques with inventory routing optimisation.
The proposal from Miralis improved on a collaborative customer delivery system by using forecasting to improve its accuracy, and an inventory routing approach that put the responsibility for stock levels with the supplier, rather than the purchaser.
Dr Will Maden, analytics director at Miralis Data, said: “Our work at Miralis focuses on reducing transport-based carbon emissions, so this was a doubly exciting challenge for us to tackle from Digital Catapult and CHEP Europe, with potentially significant outcomes. Transport is the single largest cause of carbon emissions in Europe, and one per cent of all carbon emissions comes from ‘less than full’ goods vehicles, which is not only inefficient for business, but is environmentally damaging. Our solution, which combines forecasting and inventory routing optimisation, could remove tens of millions of miles of HGV traffic per year off UK roads alone.”
Michael Gibson, Managing Director at Miralis Data, said: “There’s now a really exciting opportunity to develop this forecasting and optimisation solution further and trial the system, which would bring massive environmental and financial benefits and has the potential to revolutionise the supply chain.”
Katy Ho, Head of Innovation Practice at Digital Catapult said: “Exciting high growth companies, such as Miralis, are evidence of the UK and Germany’s strengths in advanced digital technology innovation, matched with global industrial and sustainability challenges. Finding startups with innovative ideas and fostering international collaboration is exactly what the Global Challenge is all about.”