Applegate on the back of their successful Covid 19 Hub have been awarded funding by Innovate UK for a £258,000 joint project with Exeter University to put in place a Regional Supply Hub for Devon that will make it easier to buy from local suppliers. We all know that people want to buy local and this will help councils, charities, housing associations and corporates who are all keen to give more trade to their local communities.
Suppliers within Devon will also be able to register for free to receive requests from buyers in Devon. Buyers will also use the service for free, receiving results separated out from suppliers in their district, from elsewhere in Devon, and from elsewhere in the country – enabling the buyer to make an informed choice, weighing up cost, location and other factors.
All of this will be enabled by next-generation ethical AI. Ethical AI is a ground-breaking area of research, the technology will be developed by a combination of Applegate staff and academics from Exeter University’s Institute of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. Applegate will also be working with the university’s Centre for Energy and the Environment to carry out Carbon Auditing through the platform, to calculate the level of reduction in emissions the project delivers. Larger users, such as major councils, will be able to see individually both the carbon saving and the additional GVA their usage of the hub contributes to the local economy.
Ian Campbell, Executive Chair of Innovate UK said:
Our Sustainable Innovation Fund is designed to help the UK economy recover from COVID-19, whilst contributing to the additional huge challenge of climate change. I’m delighted to see the Devon Supply Hub project’s novel approach to meeting these goals, developing leading edge technology to achieve them. With the lead partner, Applegate, located in an Assisted Area in a coastal community, this also illustrates that businesses in any location can find success with Innovate UK. I’d encourage more companies from the South West and across the country to explore what working with us can do for them.
Selaine Saxby MP for North Devon said:
With recent wins by Applegate, Petroc and others we’re seeing more success than ever before in Innovate UK competitions, I would encourage North Devon businesses engaged in R&D to look again at applying.
Alok Sharma MP, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said:
The UK’s response to coronavirus has demonstrated the very best of British ingenuity, and it is this resourcefulness that will help us navigate our way through this pandemic.
Today’s investment will ensure that our innovators and risk-takers can continue to scale up their ideas, helping the UK to build back better and ensure we meet our clear commitments on tackling climate change.