European Commission Launches Blockchain Aplications Research Project
The European Commission has announced the launch of a blockchain project that will explore possible existing, emerging, and potential applications of blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) in non-financial/industry sectors.
The initiative, “Blockchain4EU: Blockchain for Industrial Transformations”, has been launched by the EC’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW). The project will run until February 2018.
The aim of the project is primarily to identify, analyze and communicate possible uses and impacts of DLT objects, networks and services within the EU’s industrial or commercial contexts, from the supply and asset monitoring chains to intellectual property rights and authentication or certification.
Slawomir Tokarski, Director of Innovation of the General Directorate GROW and Advanced Manufacturing said: “Many [blockchain] applications are at an early stage, however, and we need already to identify areas where the impact may be most significant and discuss potential challenges with stakeholders. Therefore, we are launching this project together with the JRC’s EU Policy Lab to be better prepared to unlock the new opportunities provided by these technologies for industrial transformations and mitigate potential risks”
The JRC’s EU Policy Laboratory will combine its key competencies in forecasting, behavioral views, and policy design to explore and evaluate blockchain applications.
The key objectives will be: To map and analyze existing, emerging or other potential DLT applications for industry across specific areas and Blockchain; Identify and evaluate possible policy measures and broader policy and financing options at the commercial and manufacturing levels; and finally, search for and explore future scenarios of production, distribution and use.
Blockchain4EU will make use of a toolbox ranging from horizon scanning and behavioural insights to collaborative creation and speculative design, through desk and field research, stakeholder engagement, and a series of co-creation workshops.
The main products will contribute to explore future sociotechnical scenarios of production, distribution and use, and assess risks and opportunities for development and uptake, with a key focus on SMEs and on innovation and competitiveness. They will also help to shape options for regulatory, funding, and other broader EU policy responses.
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