Online marketplace for rural deliveries wins Innovate UK funding

  • Date 25 Jun 2020

Our collaborative project Delivery Day, a new groceries marketplace that prioritises the needs of rural consumers, has secured funding from Innovate UK. 

Delivery Day is an online marketplace for local, independent and specialist retailers to sell food and household essentials in one place. Orders are then consolidated into a single delivery and coordinated based on location. 

Communities being able to shop in this way ensures more delivery slots are available, as one journey can cover multiple orders to multiple households in a village.  

It also reduces carbon emissions and makes offering delivery more affordable for suppliers. 

We believe that grocery deliveries coordinated on locality provides an efficient, sustainable, and scalable approach to the last-mile challenge. 

The project won funding under a competition designed to boost economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. 

Underserved rural communities 
“Delivery Day provides rural consumers with the convenience of an online supermarket, but with the added benefit of being able to shop with local specialists and receive a single delivery,” said Eastpoint’s founder, John Puddifoot. 

“Innovate UK funding is competitive and we’re proud and excited to be involved in this opportunity to contribute to the recovery of the UK economy, and in particular supporting underserved rural communities, such as those that many of our own team live.” 

Record-breaking innovation 
More than 8,500 applications were received for the competition and Delivery Day was one of 800 successful projects, a record-breaking figure. 

Innovate UK funds technology and innovation, helping companies and collaborative partners to research and develop ideas. It has a strong business focus and aims to support and de-risk the innovation project to create commercially viable products and services, and ultimately drive economic growth. 

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a national funding and research agency classified as an executive non-governmental development body.  

This particular funding competition was a ‘fast track’ competition, in light of the rapidly moving and unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the threat it posed to many businesses and services.  

In an incredible feat, Innovate UK were able to review applications and make award decisions within six weeks, compared to the usual six months. 

Innovation for society and industry  
Applicants were able to apply for funding of up to £50,000 for “ambitious and innovative” products or services that would support society and industry.

Projects considered were those that would drive advancement in areas such as community support for those social distancing, services such as deliveries and hospitality, and sectors such as health, transport, and manufacturing. 

Collaborate with Eastpoint Software 
Research and innovation is a huge part of our work at Eastpoint and we have previously worked on a collaborative project co-funded by Innovate UK. Alongside our project partners we created a training simulator for non-destructive testing. 

If you are looking for an SME or technology partner for an Innovate UK bid, or other exciting funding opportunity, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on [email protected] or call us on 01223 690164.  

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