Advanced Material Development is one of a consortium of 11 UK companies to have won government funding to develop technology to reduce waste and build consumer confidence in ‘farm-to-fork’ food supply chains.
The SecQuAL project, which is short for Secure Quality Assured Logistics for Digital Food Ecosystems, aims to digitally enable the food ecosystem with ‘smart labels’ to improve food safety, reduce waste and strengthen consumer confidence in the food they purchase and consume.
AMD said it will apply its knowledge of next-generation nanomaterials science to the development of smart, sustainable packaging and tracking solutions, having for example won commercial contracts using its graphene-based conductive ink technology to make more sustainable tagging systems for the retail packaging industry.
It will look to use novel nanomaterial inks for UHF RFID and photonic crystal time-temperature indicators to aid SecQuAL in developing effective data capturing, sharing, integrity and governance, and integrating assurance standards.
John Lee, chief executive officer of AMD, said: “This award is a tremendous development for AMD and its leading researchers. To be part of such a major investment by government and industry in the search for game-changing solutions in the manufacturing supply chain, particularly within the critical food sector, places materials science and AMD with its Sussex University team at the cutting edge of innovation.”
The funding has been awarded by the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund as part of the ‘Made Smarter Innovation’ technology accelerator delivered by UK Research and Innovation.
The Food Standard Agency’s head of science, evidence & research, Prof Rick Mumford, said: “As a modern regulator, we regularly explore innovative approaches to enhance food safety and standards. As a partner [in SecQuAL], we will get a chance to engage first-hand with leading-edge technology and evaluate the potential this might have for supporting the work we do with industry to ensure food supply chain integrity.”
The full list of SecQuAL members also includes PragmatIC Semiconductors, RSK ADAS, BlakBear, Centre for Process Innovation, Consus Fresh Solutions and CCL Design.