Blockchain could soon transform three of the five most important sectors in North-Western Europe (agri-food, logistics and healthcare), representing a turnover of €600 billion. These industries have major challenges around data sharing between different countries (tracking of goods shipments, medical records sharing, traceability of food products, etc.). In these areas, SMEs are particularly vulnerable to risks associated with data security, cash flow and late payments.
With blockchain, these exchanges of information are carried out in an automated, efficient and secure way, without the actors involved having to trust each other. But SMEs generally find it difficult to benefit from these advances: they do not have the means to develop their own solution unlike large companies and companies in the finance sector. Nevertheless, there are products for SMEs, but these do not go beyond a TRL 4.
The Blockstart project aims to bring the full benefits of this technology to small and medium-sized enterprises. Its objective is to develop 4 blockchain solutions, at a TRL 6, and implement them in 12 SMEs, improving operational efficiency by 10%, reducing the cost of data errors by 20% and the cost of data security by 30%.
To do so, Blockstart will select 60 SMEs from the UK, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium to identify 4 common issues for these companies. Collaboration across countries will help achieve a critical mass, which is essential for blockchain projects. This will allow the development of solutions that are 70% replicable, with only 30% that needs to be customised. The solutions will be co-developed by a multinational team of experts (on business models, security and incubation) and SMEs. In total, 1,710 SMEs will have access to the solutions and test results. 300 of them will adopt the new tools, creating an additional turnover of €100 million and 500 jobs over 5 years, positioning North-West Europe at the forefront of blockchain technology.
PROJECT LEAD: Brightlands Smart Services Campus (Campus Heerlen Management & Development BV)
CALL FOR PROJECTS: INTERREG – North-West-Europe
EU FUNDING: €2.96M
TOTAL BUDGET: €4.94M
FUNDING YEAR: 2019-2022
PARTNERS: University of Applied Sciences Windesheim – Medicen Paris Region – East Netherlands Development Agency – Multitel ASBL – BioRegio STERN Management GmbH – University of Surrey – Public Option – ChainPoint B.V.
COUNTRIES: Netherlands, France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom