The UK Government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, has launched a new contest to find out new ideas to transform ‘future retail’.
Innovate UK is looking for businesses that can sort out five major digital challenges faced by retailers in the country.
Innovate UK’s digital programme, IC tomorrow, has worked with retail industry pioneers to define five key challenges for applicants to address which includes new ways to fight food waste, future of fitting, improving shopping experience, and enhancing in-store experiences .
Tesco and WRAP are supporting the initiative to find ways to fight food waste as in the UK 7 million tonnes of food and drink is thrown away each year.
This challenge is designed to find customer focused solutions to reduce food waste.
London College of Fashion, University of the Arts, London (UAL) are partners for ‘Future of fitting – Digital Anthropology Lab’ to find a way to optimise the virtual fitting experience.
Unilever is supporting ‘Seamless shopping’, a challenge to find a solution for retailers and suppliers that makes the reordering of products as seamless as possible.
To enhance the in-store experiences Barclays is trying to bring in a solution to help customers with their everyday banking needs.
The winners will get the opportunity to work with the partners supporting each challenge to develop a prototype using funding from IC tomorrow.
IC tomorrow programme manager Matt Sansam said: "The Future of Retail innovation contest aims to drive the evolution of this huge industry, further improving customer experience and also using technology to solve pressing issues such as food waste.
"Together with our partners, Tesco, WRAP, Unilever, London College of Fashion, UAL, Barclays and Greater London Authority, we hope to find the people and the solutions that can keep retail at the forefront of digital innovation."