On the 9th of October, the Blockstart consortium came together for the second partner meeting, taking place over three days in Arnhem, The Netherlands.
During the meeting, the project partners had the opportunity to exchange thoughts and share experiences on how to overcome certain challenges. The partners' enthusiasm and ambitions for the Blockstart project shone through the lively discussions and the consortium was able to clearly outline the way forward for the project over the coming months.
After the last partner meeting, there were three main points on the meeting agenda. The first was, as would be expected, an update on the project's progress. All project partners shared promising insights on the progress they had made in the intervening months. Some highlights include:
- In the Netherlands, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Windesheim University of Applied Sciences brought academic institutes and SMEs together in workshops to discuss how best to create value with logistics applications based on blockchain.
- The University of Surrey engaged blockchain solution developers in the UK to get insights on companies' development stages and determine exactly what type of support they need.
- In Wallonia, Multitel analysed the implementations of blockchain within the Internet of Things and tested solutions in a small lab to minimise infrastructure cost for SMEs.
The second point was the identification of SME needs. It was important to have all the partners involved in this discussion, as solving challenges SMEs in the relevant sectors are facing is the project's ultimate objective. The project partners discussed approaches on how to engage effectively with SMEs to identify their needs and how to encourage them to participate in the Blockstart project.
The third main point central to the partner meeting was the training modules that SMEs will be offered as part of the project's activities. These training modules aim to familiarise SMEs with blockchain technology and explain how it could resolve some of their most pressing challenges. The training will help SMEs answers questions like how to adapt their customer value proposition and thoroughly explore blockchain's potential to optimise their specific business operations.
Considering the progress made over the last couple of months, the high spirits of the project partners and the decisions made during the partner meeting, it can only be concluded that there is a fruitful basis for the Blockstart project to continue and to, ultimately, resolve some of the most pressing challenges for a great number of SMEs. We are looking forward to the months ahead.