A forward looking sociotechnical exploration of existing, emerging and potential applications based on Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) for industrial/non-financial sectors. This project is running in cooperation with the European Commission Directorate General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship & SMEs (DG GROW).
Exploring Blockchain for existing and future EU industry
Blockchain promises near-tamper proof, decentralized and real-time mechanisms for enabling, storing and securing data-based transactions or processes, with fewer to non-existent central intermediaries. Beyond the fintech domains domains where it emerged, new Blockchain applications are coming to the foreground. Their potential to change how manufacturing and business organisations operate, and in particular how they produce and deliver goods and services, is swiftly becoming a tangible reality. Blockchain and other Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) are expected to provide a series of benefits in terms of communication, efficiency, security, reliability and transparency, such as helping to reduce fraud and counterfeiting, lowering operational costs, enhancing safety and efficiency of transactions, or automating material and digital manufacturing operations. It is crucial to understand which actions can or will be necessary to prepare for the potential transformations and possible disruptions brought by them to existing or future EU sociotechnical landscapes.
Identify, discuss and communicate possible Blockchain uses and impacts
The project’s main goal is to identify, discuss and communicate possible uses and impacts of Blockchain and other DLT based objects, networks and services across specific areas, from supply chains and assets monitoring, to intellectual property rights and authentication or certification. Its outputs will contribute to assess risks and opportunities for the development and uptake of Blockchain and other DLT applications within EU industrial and business contexts, with 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 considering collaborative, decentralized, peer-to-peer and social innovation models.
Bringing transdisciplinary innovation into policy-making
The JRC’s EU Policy Lab combines its competences in foresight, behavioural insights and design for policy to explore and assess Blockchain and other DLT applications in the industrial / non-financial sectors. Through desk and field research, stakeholder engagement, and a series of co-creation workshops, we will make use of a toolbox ranging from horizon scanning and behavioural insights to collaborative creation and speculative design. Our overall aims are to:
- map and analyse existing, emerging or potential Blockchain and other DLT applications for industry across specific areas;
- scan for and explore future scenarios of production, distribution and use;
- identify and assess prospective regulatory actions and broader policy and funding options at business and manufacturing levels.