Five Techs To Reshape Supply Chain
Five Techs To Reshape Supply Chain
List

Five Techs To Reshape Supply Chain

Editor-in-Chief

Laura Del Vecchio

image

CHUTTERSNAP @ Unsplash

A list of emerging technologies expected to impact supply chain infrastructure by 2030.
A list of emerging technologies expected to impact supply chain infrastructure by 2030.

Global supply chains are intricate and dependent on multiple individual actors to function. Today's markets face many unresolved operational dilemmas, such as setting the market-pricing of goods and services that comply with sustainable labor standards and the environment's well-being. This adds increased anxiety to bring about a green transition to reach zero-waste and zero-pollution schemes, and perhaps the backbone of this action could rely on a digital transformation to deploy network infrastructures that are robust, flexible, sustainable, and scalable.

To capture the potential of developments which strengthen environmentally sound practices that include not only multinational companies, but also small to medium-sized businesses along the supply chain, we have highlighted the top five technologies expected to alleviate operational malfunctions to transcend from a linear system to help reach a circular economy.

The emerging technologies below are not intended to deliver any kind of 'solutionism' action to all our current problems. But, they can function as powerful tools to guide governments in policy-making, inform and engage us as humans to drive citizen action, and provide businesses and other organizations with the means for transparent operations and accountability. With the emergence of these tools and others, there is no excuse to not prioritize 'Green Recovery' as we track towards 2030. Traceable, transparent, and ethical supply chains are well within our reach.

Blockchain 3D representation

Denis Mitrofanov @ Behance

Blockchain 3D representation

Denis Mitrofanov @ Behance

Blockchain Certificate: racing to boost traceability and transparency

What is it? A means of using blockchain technology infrastructure to certify and authenticate identification, procedures, courses, educational validations, and documents.

Why it matters:

This blockchain solution creates a certification infrastructure that puts both the customer and companies in control of their full individual records from their origins until their final destination. These distributed certifications are mitigating associated verification processes such as bureaucratic hoops and frauds, thus introducing an interoperable ecosystem for auditing standards that can act as a digital backbone for global streams of products.

As an example, to report on consumed energy from renewable energy sources, European companies must rely on Guarantees of Origin (GO), a regulated certificate issued by the European Directive of the Clean Energy Package. Yet, GO does not store the data, making it hard to prove energy sources are genuinely using green energy. By tokenizing energy through electricity units to become digital assets, certificates can timestamp full ownership and tracking, thus creating a whole ecosystem with unprecedented transparency in detail.

A blockchain certificate is not designed to replace official regulated certifications but certainly adds mechanisms to capture data in an end-to-end process occurring in a distributed ledger. Thus all involved parties have access to recorded transactions that are immutable and difficult or nearly impossible to forge.

AR representation

Adobe Aero Project @ blog.adobe.com

AR representation

Adobe Aero Project @ blog.adobe.com

AR Fiducial Marker: better accessibility with overlaid augmented data

What is it? A visible symbol used as a reference point or measuring unit for positional tracking of Augmented Reality devices. It helps translate spatial references between the concrete and augmented worlds, working as an anchor of scale, location, and orientation, which in turn allows for real-time virtual overlay.

Why it matters:

As an augmented reality application that overlays virtual imagery on real-world assets, this technology presents an interactive mechanism for designing a more traceable and possibly transparent information system for users. By attaching the AR markers to physical objects, the information displayed by the AR inputs can include imagery that does not necessarily imply words or characters, thus helping illiterate readers to access the inner characteristics of specific products with corresponding images.

This technology holds the promise to bridge the gap in terms of literacy, possibly propelling towards a confusion-free market.

Hyperspectral Sensor Imaging

Victor Vasiljev @ Behance

Hyperspectral Sensor Imaging

Victor Vasiljev @ Behance

Hyper-spectral Imaging: helping to see what the eyes cannot

What is it? By measuring optical absorption and emission lines in the electromagnetic spectrum, Hyperspectral Sensor Imaging enables the identification of substances invisible to the naked eye.

Why it matters:

Currently, devices using HSI solely complement already existing monitoring practices. Still, in the not too distant future, devices using HSI will likely improve techniques as a standard fitting for autonomous monitoring. This method, therefore, promises new scales suitable for specific demands and markets.

For instance, in difficult-to-access areas, such as dense vegetation or prone-to-weather disaster locations, this solution could work as a reliable source for collecting all desired measurements for creating reliable datasets. At the end-consumer level, we might see technology at a lower cost, making it accessible to individuals and not only national agencies or large companies. If incorporated into conventional systems, it could enhance performance with visual information, including autonomous vehicles and smart home systems.

DNA Barcoding

National Cancer Institute @ Unsplash

DNA Barcoding

National Cancer Institute @ Unsplash

DNA Barcoding: optimizing production lines with increased quality certification

What is it? A method that converts a short DNA section into a unique barcode, allowing scientists and researchers to catalog and differentiate species of animals, plants, viruses, or tissues. It is currently being employed to catalog wildlife and to improve food transparency by certifying if the product being bought is, in fact, the one advertised.

Why it matters:

This tagging system is helping enhance the process of monitoring items throughout production and distribution chains. The barcodes added to products cannot be replaced or removed, and they do not alter the color, flavor, or texture.

This technology can help companies better manage their goods and systems, increasing productivity and efficiency, bringing economic benefits to both farmers and retailers while improving product quality and prices for consumers. Furthermore, it could help raise awareness for consumers concerning ethical marketplaces, possibly becoming a mandatory practice to facilitate the work of some regulatory bodies inspecting goods.

In Silico Farming

Mantas Bačiuška @ Behance

In Silico Farming

Mantas Bačiuška @ Behance

In Silico Farming: fueling faster and more precise decisions

What is it? A mathematical model built from real crops' data designed to simulate how yields are expected to perform under any given circumstance. It helps farmers to manage and optimize crops and adapt to climate change.

Why it matters:

With the rapid development in the processing power of computers over the last few decades has enabled the emergence of in silico studies. In these studies, research is conducted via computer simulations with models reflecting the real world as closely as possible. By modeling the coupled plant-soil–atmosphere–management ecosystem, the simulated spatial resolution, and precision output could potentially be comparable to having a large number of physical sensors distributed in the field.

Recently, In Silico Farming is being applied in crop science to design highly accurate digital plants to help speed up selective breeding. This method helps identify mathematical relationships using agricultural data and then create simulations based on those equations, allowing the traits they measured to play out on the screen. Once able to access crops through simulation inputs, scientists can manipulate the data to see which factors result in the fastest-growing, most drought-resistant, or least pest-susceptible plants possible.

While this method is currently only used by international organizations, national governments, and multinational corporations and is not yet available to small farmers, but it is expected to become more accessible so users could run what-if scenarios about climate change and agriculture policy. In the future, instead of merely responding to food shortages, In Silico Farming would help to preemptively set appropriate food reserve levels, identify low-yield regions, and predict where to send food aid. If computer simulations scale up, they could boost the democratization of precision farming, taking mono and polyculture as well as agroforestry farming to new levels.

10 topics
Adapting to Climate Change
Agricultural Trade and Standards
Anti-Corruption & Standards of Integrity
Decentralization & Local Governance
Digital Economy
Energy Efficiency
Environment Policy, Economics, and Management
Food and Nutrition Security
Green Economy
Land Governance
6 SDGs
03 Good Health and Well-Being
08 Decent Work and Economic Growth
09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
12 Responsible Consumption and Production
13 Climate Action
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

Related Content

1 editorial projects
2 technology domains
2 technology methods
  • DNA Barcoding
  • Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI)
3 technology applications
2 stories
8 industries
  • Communications
  • Agriculture
  • Environment & Resources
  • Finance
  • Food
  • Manufacturing & Production
  • Media & Interface
  • Retail & Logistics
10 topics
  • Adapting to Climate Change
  • Agricultural Trade and Standards
  • Anti-Corruption & Standards of Integrity
  • Decentralization & Local Governance
  • Digital Economy
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Environment Policy, Economics, and Management
  • Food and Nutrition Security
  • Green Economy
  • Land Governance
6 SDGs
  • 03 Good Health and Well-Being
  • 08 Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • 09 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
  • 12 Responsible Consumption and Production
  • 13 Climate Action
  • 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities