Putting a green spin on deep-tech research

We’ve been working with start-up Monoceros to explore how their innovative technology can create sustainable supply chains.

For large organisations, like Deloitte, working with start-ups can bring many benefits – not only to the start-up themselves – but also to our clients. And for us, it helps bring fresh thinking and enables us to challenge the status quo. It’s one of the reasons we decided to support start-ups through our work with Conception X.

Conception X is a deep tech venture programme that helps PhD students from across the UK turn their cutting-edge university research into viable start-up solutions. We can see how their research can be applied to real-world problems that our clients are coming to us to solve, every day. And they benefit from our industry experience and exposure.

Our Deloitte Ventures Climate Change & Environment Studio has been helping Monoceros, just one of the start-ups we’re supporting, to identify how their technology can be used in the sustainability space. Being greener and more conscious about the impact business has on the environment is becoming more and more important for companies across all sectors, with reducing their carbon footprint at the top of their list. And so we thought their story was worth sharing.

According to data from Monoceros, every year $200bn of medicine is counterfeited; 200m tons of food for human purposes is spoiled during transportation; and $35bn of goods are systematically stolen or lost. This is a significant problem for society and businesses at large.

It’s difficult to know what happens to a package between the moment it leaves for its destination and when it arrives, with real-time, continuous, package-level data needed in order to bridge this information gap. This is something that Monoceros founders Théophile Griveau-Billion and Federica Andrisani felt passionate about and set out to solve.

Their solution enables a business to be across any important updates on the product’s journey. For example, Federica explains, “when the package gets on the train, if there’s a delay to its journey and when it arrives at its final destination. It also monitors several environmental conditions including temperature, humidity and light. The solution communicates in real-time whenever these conditions move outside of the limits set, to help guarantee the integrity and final quality of the shipped assets.”

Théophile says, “The system works by leveraging global, end-to-end monitoring and machine learning algorithms to automatically update a package’s ETA and condition status, no matter who’s handling the package or where it is in the chain. There is no need for external infrastructure or human intervention to make it work. Being able to precisely track the route of each shipment – and which transportation it is on at any given moment – means businesses can really understand their carbon emissions in every mile. This will not only bring sound data on the environmental impacts of the business, but also open doors to actions for improvement in terms of path travelled to go from point A to Z.”

Monoceros is just one of the deep tech start-ups we’re working with at Deloitte Ventures. We’re passionate about working with fresh thinkers that help us make connections between deep tech and business challenges. If you’re a start-up or simply keen to know more, contact us at helloventures@deloitte.co.uk.

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