Miralis wins international AI competition

An AI project which tackles multinational supply chain challenges has seen data science specialist Miralis win the Digital Catapult UK-Germany Global Challenge.

The competition is organised by advanced digital technology innovation centre Digital Catapult, and is backed by both UK and German governments.

Entrants were tasked with solving manufacturing supply chain challenges as laid out by supply chain expert CHEP Europe.

The winning solution by Lancaster-based Miralis not only addressed the challenge from CHEP Europe, 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.

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, 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 badly packed 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."

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."

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