EIT Manufacturing and Sonae MC Launch Joint Challenge to Foster Collaborative Innovation

As the business landscape undergoes constant evolution, the demand for expertise and innovation becomes increasingly imperative, especially when handling complex logistical tasks, such as planning, managing, controlling and tracking warehouse goods.   

Warehouse logistics management encompasses numerous challenges, such as the automation of manual processes, the location of goods, and the integration of all elements within the supply chain. However, transforming these challenges into opportunities is crucial. Numerous technological applications can enhance internal processes and routes, optimise warehouse organisation, eliminate downtime, expedite order preparation, simplify inventory management, and reduce the loss or deterioration of goods, especially in the context of e-commerce activities.  

As part of the B Acceleration Programs by BAT B Accelerator Tower, EIT Manufacturing and Sonae MC, a renowned corporation, have launched a challenge to seek cutting-edge solutions that integrate or combine hardware and software to effectively overcome these issues:  

  • Picking: through the optimisation of operator routes in the warehouse, operator collaboration with automated systems, among others, to increase productivity levels.  
  • Product/Equipment Location Operations: to improve knowledge of the positioning of objects (products, infrastructures, moving equipment). 

“Our partnership with Sonae is instrumental in tackling specific industry challenges head-on. It offers startups a unique chance to deploy their technologies in practical settings and glean insights from seasoned industry professionals. This collaboration underscores our dedication to nurturing an ecosystem where startups flourish and innovation thrives, reinforcing our commitment to driving progress within the industry”, explains Javier González, Business Development and Innovation Manager at EIT Manufacturing West.

Registration for companies eager to take on the challenge and showcase their innovative technologies will remain open until 5 July 2024.  

Driving corporate innovation 

This activity is integrated within the portfolio of services offered by EIT Manufacturing to the entities to help them to address innovation challenges that they would not be able to solve by themselves. This may be due to the difficulty to identify or choose the best option among many possible approaches and solutions, or due to a lack of resources for a comprehensive process of scouting, evaluation, and selection of the optimal solution.  

EIT Manufacturing ensures that key decision-makers have access to a wide range of solutions from across Europe. After defining criteria based on corporate needs, the project’s key milestones are set, leading to the selection of the best solution to address the innovation challenge. Once the best solution is selected, EIT Manufacturing supports the PoC (Proof of Concept) planning and monitoring phase to optimise learning and assess scalability potential.  

EIT Manufacturing has already successfully tackled over 45 corporate challenges in various topics such as artificial intelligence, intralogistics, circular economy, energy efficiency, CO2 measurement and traceability, and data management. Notable successes include the challenge with Danobatgroup to develop AI solutions for smart manufacturing and with Eroski to optimize product shelf life, showcasing the programme’s effectiveness in fostering innovation for all involved parties. 

Upcoming B Acceleration Week in September 

This acceleration programme will culminate at B Acceleration Week, an exciting event scheduled from 24-26 September 2024 at BAT Tower, in the heart of the city of Bilbao. This week-long event will feature a dynamic agenda including startup pitches from the selected finalists. Each startup will have its own stand and the opportunity to pitch to other companies and investors. These activities will highlight cutting-edge innovations and entrepreneurial ventures within the region. 

B Acceleration Week promises to be a platform for networking, knowledge exchange, and showcasing groundbreaking ideas. It will bring together startups, leading industry experts and other key stakeholders, fostering a collaborative environment where innovation can thrive.