Innovate Manchester has announced its first innovation workshop for 2022/2023 in collaboration with musicMagpie.

The workshop will take place on Wednesday 28 September in a yet to be announced venue in Stockport.

Innovate Manchester is designed to find fresh ideas and tangible solutions to challenges faced by local businesses by bringing together organisations from all sectors and backgrounds.

Funded through the European Regional Development Fund and with the dedicated and ongoing support of MIDAS and the Business Growth Hub Innovation team, a series of four workshops will run from September 2022 to January 2023.

For the first challenge, Innovate Manchester is searching for SMEs with expertise in AI and machine learning and an understanding of consumer tech to improve the automatic valuation of musicMagpie’s Smart Drop Kiosks.

musicMagpie currently deploys numerous Smart Drop Kiosks in Asda stores nationwide. This enables customers to trade their mobile phone devices at a convenient location and receive instant payment.

The first stage of the challenge is to improve the automatic valuation in the Smart Drop Kiosks, using AI and machine learning, to ensure customers receive the correct amount for their device.

There is currently a manual dependency on assessing a device via the kiosk. The aim is to reduce the reliance on this resource and increase the consistency of the grading. Once this solution has been successfully implemented, musicMagpie will look to roll the technology out across their other product lines.

musicMagpie is a leader in the re-commerce of consumer technology, disc media and books in the UK and US, with sustainability running to the very heart of its operations. Founded in 2007, the Group has an established presence in the UK, with operations in Macclesfield and Hazel Grove, Greater Manchester, and in the US in Atlanta, Georgia.

Greater Manchester-based SMEs interested in providing a solution to musicMagpie’s challenge are invited to attend an innovation workshop on Wednesday 28th September.

The Innovate Manchester workshop will include representatives from musicMagpie, a select number of SMEs, and specialists in this field from GC Business Growth Hub, MIDAS and local universities.

The event will include a panel discussion and Q&A session with the opportunity to learn more and speak directly to representatives from musicMagpie.

Following the workshop, musicMagpie will shortlist SMEs to pitch for the project and those selected will receive pitch support from GC Business Growth Hub Specialist Advisors and key academics in the field of AI and machine learning where appropriate.

Register for the free-to-attend workshop here.

For more information on the Innovate Manchester programme and eligibility criteria download the SME brochure.