Wincanton has launched the fourth edition of its annual brainstorming programme W2 Labs.

This year the programme aims to seek out innovative start-ups that can work with Wincanton on developing digital fulfilment, ESG, and technology and robotics.

W2Lab, which is run in collaboration with corporate innovation partner L Marks, has been an annual event since 2017. It has so far worked with 20 early stage businesses on innovations such as wearable technology to help reduce worker injuries, autonomous mobile robots, and the use of machine learning in labour optimisation.

Other innovations include global asset intelligence and visibility, online recruitment assessment tools, and innovative approaches to utilising spare freight and warehouse capacity.

This year’s programme will invite a range of technologies and solutions to focus on some new areas of the Wincanton business.

Wincanton is looking for innovative technologies and solutions which have the potential to revolutionise modern day fulfilment and make it more efficient and sustainable.

It is also looking for innovative partners to help it invest in cutting edge safety and wellbeing solutions, decarbonise the supply chain and promote diversity and inclusion.

The company added: “Our wildcard category is an opportunity for innovative start-ups to surprise us with technology and robotics ideas that you believe will make a real difference to supply chains.

“Digitising and automating the supply chain is key to our innovation programme. We are open to discover what new technologies and different approaches can support us to deliver digital transformation.”

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Applicants will have the opportunity to trial their solution in a live environment.

Applications opened at 09:00am on the 21 March 2022 seeking solutions to the following challenges:

James Wroath, CEO at Wincanton, said: “At Wincanton, we see digital innovation and transformation as crucial in our relentless focus on building sustainable and resilient supply chains for our customers.

“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.”

Daniel Saunders, CEO of L Marks, added: “L Marks is thrilled to embark on a fourth year of W2 Labs with Wincanton. 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.”