Advanced Material Development (AMD) and University of Sussex researchers have teamed up with Walmart to examine and develop the impact of bringing an innovative ecological solution into retail supply chains.

The project will be funded via a grant from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the National Productivity Investment Fund, bringing together AMD with researchers from the Sussex Business School and the world’s largest company by revenue, Walmart. It follows the establishment of the new ESRC research centre for Digital Futures at Work.

The funded project will examine the employment consequences of the development, adoption and implementation of new environmentally friendly digital technologies; in this case Radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags in the retail sector.

“Our work at Sussex in the field of highly conductive inks has partly been driven by demands from the retail industry searching for a sustainable solution in the replacement of metal content in RFID antennas,” said John Lee, CEO of AMD. “We are continuing to improve our technology for our partners in this space, with a possible large scale print trial this year, and the opportunity to work with a company with the global impact and sustainability reputation of Walmart is a substantial boost and support of the need for us.”

AMD has recently announced a £1.5m equity funding round as the company further extends its nano-material research and development operations. It will also support its government and industry partnerships in Europe and the US.

The business has now incorporated in the United States and formed an office presence in the Washington metropolitan area. “This is a key development in the AMD business plan,” said John Lee. “The U.S. effort has been the key thrust for our business in the last year and our success to date is notable. Our partners have urged us to establish a local presence and we now see this to be just the start of a huge growth opportunity for the company.”

Proprietary nanotechnology for the development of materials and near to market applications.