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Wincanton launches the 3rd edition of W²Labs Innovation Lab

Chippenham, Wiltshire, 14th September 2020 – Wincanton, the UK’s largest third-party logistics provider, has today launched the third edition of W2Labs, an innovation programme focussed on discovering new ideas and technologies to tackle the industry’s toughest challenges.

Created in partnership with L Marks, the first W2Labs ran in 2017, with the second programme launching the following year. Since its inception, W2 Labs has facilitated collaboration between Wincanton and 12 early-stage businesses and produced innovations including wearable technology to make employees safer and autonomous mobile robots to guide warehouse pickers. The programme has equally generated innovative approaches for making the most of spare freight and warehouse capacity.

W2 Labs sits under the wider W2 innovation programme, which encompasses a number of initiatives to foster supply chain innovation and create an ecosystem of industry-leading partners.

Building on the success of previous programmes, this year’s W2 Labs will run in L Marks’ Relay format, which invites two-three startups to focus on a specific challenge on a dedicated sprint. There will be three sprints in total and the selected startups will all gain access to mentorship from subject matter experts and senior management as well as the opportunity to trial their solutions in a live customer environment.

Applications are now open for Sprint 1 and 2 addressing the following challenges:

Dark Store – Wincanton would like to hear from early-stage businesses as well as existing preferred suppliers with technologies with the potential to revolutionise modern day fulfilment. Examples include robotic automation, demand forecasting and people and process planning.

People – Wincanton wants to help its employees be the best they can be by creating a positive culture of recognition in which they feel valued. They are similarly seeking solutions that will keep employees safe at work.

In addition, Wincanton are calling for Wildcard applications to tap into transformative ideas which don’t fit neatly into either of the above challenges. Wildcard applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.