International Supply Chain Accelerator: Seamless Trade Across Borders

The International Supply Chain Accelerator aims to facilitate collaboration and funding for Electronic Trade Document Systems prototypes.

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Up to £85,000 in grant funding to develop a challenge focused minimum viable product (MVP) and supporting material, plus further support and opportunities including a programme showcase event in March 2025. Co-investment (at least 50% of costs) from industry and technology partners is a requirement of the funding; this can be in-kind support.

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The International Supply Chain Accelerator is part of the Made Smarter Innovation | Digital Supply Chain Hub programme. This project is aiming to support UK technology innovators and startups to identify and address operational inefficiencies in current trade processes. Leonardo UK and BAE Systems have set out the industry challenges with BT Group as a technology sponsor and ICC as an industry body emphasising the significant potential for optimisation and improvement of import and export processes used in cross-border trade.

The UK ecosystem of technology innovators will be invited to apply to the programme and will be at the forefront of digital transformation. Digital Catapult, as delivery partner, will facilitate and guide the partnerships between the industry challenge owners, technology sponsor and the tech innovators, providing funding of up to £85,000 to address some of the UK’s most pressing supply chain challenges.

In September 2023, the UK Government introduced the Electronic Trade Documents Act to promote technology adoption, streamline trade, and foster growth. The Act focuses on granting electronic trade documents the same legal status as paper ones, requiring them to be stored securely for authentication. Digitalising trade documents could unlock £25 billion in economic growth by 2024 and save £224 billion in efficiency. The Act is projected to benefit the UK economy by £1.14 billion over a decade. The International Supply Chain Accelerator aims to tackle this digitalisation challenge by facilitating collaboration and funding for Electronic Trade Document Systems prototypes.

This is an opportunity to join the programme and be at the forefront of digital transformation.

We invite innovators and start ups to apply to one of the following challenges:

Challenge area 1: Standardisation and sharing of high quality data by all participants in the supply chain – this challenge aims to establish a standardised and consistent supply chain data ecosystem, ensuring interoperability and harmonisation, while delivering high-quality, real-time data and ensuring due diligence, accuracy, accessibility, and telemetry.

Challenge area 2: Enhanced transparency and visibility of the export and import process steps in the supply chain – this challenge aims to enhance visibility and transparency throughout the Export/Import processes by seamlessly gathering data from diverse systems within BAE Systems and Leonardo UK.

Should you require any assistance with the application you can reach out to to explore the suitability of your idea for the challenges.


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