With EURO-CHAIN, a new initiative to establish the European Blockchain Institute in North Rhine-Westphalia has been launched at the science location Dortmund. The project forms an important pillar on the way to a new economy – the Silicon Economy. The digital transformation has an impact on societal, political, social, economic and legal areas, which is why Prof. Michael Henke rightly emphasizes the great importance of management with “Technology alone will not shape a new economy.” It is true that the new EURO-CHAIN initiative focuses on blockchain technology, but not only. It is also primarily about building new business models, tamper-proof data exchange and holistic solution approaches for the economy in NRW, Germany and Europe.
We have summarized ten goals of EURO-CHAIN for you:
- EURO-CHAIN to establish the European Blockchain Institute stands for application-oriented blockchain research in Europe. Relevant scientific communities will be brought together and joint results will be transferred into entrepreneurial practice.
- For this purpose, the European Blockchain Institute will develop and provide open source solutions for software, hardware and business models based on blockchain technology for the domain of logistics and supply chain management.
- In this highly complex application field with many different actors, economically independent partners, numerous liability and risk transitions and a multitude of processes across the entire value chain, Blockchain technology is to become the key technology in data exchange, guaranteeing manipulation security and thus creating trust.
- Blockchain is to become the enabler technology for the Internet of Things (IOT) and the use of artificial intelligence (AI), for example.
- Existing isolated solutions are to be dissolved. The European Blockchain Institute wants to establish an end-to-end view, develop open and holistic solutions along complete value creation processes and work across disciplines and countries.
- As an organization, the Blockchain Institute will create the technological foundations, management principles and methods, and Blockchain standards for a linking infrastructure as well as an open application environment for AI services and new business models.
- This infrastructure includes the establishment of a so-called blockchain broker, which ensures non-discriminatory and barrier-free participation of different actors from science and practice. Thus, the initiative fits into the overall picture of the Silicon Economy at the logistics location Dortmund and enters into a mutual integration with the IOT and Logistics Broker. Together, the three brokers form the basis of the planned IT architecture for realizing the new economy.
- Standards for smart contracts will also be established to create an automated and secure payment and negotiation framework at all levels of the new economy.
- The projects of the new initiative will lay the foundation for numerous new and digital business models. Communication with customers, partners and suppliers will be optimized and transparency across the entire supply chain will be created for optimized customer centricity.
- In addition to the listed goals, however, the focus is also on forming a general and common understanding across all stakeholders and for the general public. The abstract term “blockchain” becomes practically tangible. Demonstrators and implementation examples from the business world show the concrete added value of the technology and its potential. In this way, EURO-CHAIN creates a comprehensible picture of the hype term for everyone.
Dr. Philipp Sprenger
EURO-CHAIN (European Blockchain-Institute in NRW)
Fraunhofer-Institut für Materialfluss und Logistik