Multitel presents WalChain: Blockchain at the heart of Wallonia
Multitel is an official information technology innovation centre in Belgium (Walloon region).
Aside from its participation in different European and regional projects, its mission prioritises helping Walloon companies effectively integrate new technologies in their products, processes and services, in order to improve their competitiveness and achieve sustainable economic prosperity.
In the context of blockchain technologies, Multitel has participated in the creation of the WalChain initiative.
The WalChain network brings together blockchain players in Wallonia. As part of the structuring and participative dynamics of Digital Wallonia, WalChain's ambition is to position Wallonia as an actor and a reference territory for blockchain. The network is composed of entrepreneurs, investors, innovators, disruptors - all Walloon actors in blockchain technology who have been active for several years - gathering to highlight the Walloon competences in this field.
Capturing the value of blockchain for Wallonia
Wallonia has many assets to be an important player in this new market. Indeed, it can already count on various dedicated research units, like Multitel, as well as on different clusters of companies and start-ups offering blockchain services. However, many actors or initiatives were scattered or unconnected in the past.
As the blockchain market evolved and a greater need for connection arose, several SMEs, clusters, research centres and universities joined forces. The result was the creation of WalChain: the Walloon Blockchain Network.
The main objective of WalChain is to promote blockchain "Made In Wallonia" as an innovative tool for building transparent and collaborative ecosystems. By committing to this new path, the members of the network intend to actively contribute to the economic redeployment of Wallonia through creating new skills and high added value projects.
Beginning with a dozen actors at the time of its foundation, the network has grown to roughly 100 members, from academic researchers to well-established companies.
A reference partner for Wallonia through Digital Wallonia
WalChain has become the Walloon reference partner of public and private institutions for the adoption of blockchain technology and its usage opportunities. WalChain therefore positions itself as a catalyst and starting point for initiatives and operational actions involving blockchain-based technologies. The ambition is to see a dozen blockchain projects emerge by the end of 2022, in relation to sectors such as finance, insurance, law, e-commerce, agriculture, logistics, energy, pharma and biotechnology.
The WalChain initiative is now part of Digital Wallonia, Wallonia's digital strategy agency. Its particular involvement is through the W.IN.G by Digital Wallonia investment fund, which has oriented its activities towards DeepTech. The objective is also to take advantage of the framework of Digital Wallonia's main structuring programmes (Industry of the Future, DW4AI, Digital Commerce, Smart Region, etc.) to integrate a blockchain dimension through calls for projects or specific initiatives.
Finally, WalChain's partners, startups, companies, research players, etc. are identified and mapped on the Digital Wallonia platform, the goal of which is to offer a coherent, structured and collaborative vision of Wallonia's digital ecosystems.
Missions of the WalChain network
The missions of the WalChain network are to promote blockchain technology among entrepreneurs and public actors in Wallonia and to carry out concrete actions to encourage its emergence and use. To achieve these objectives, network activities follow 4 development axes:
- Raising awareness - demonstrating the stakes and benefits of this technology in a simple and accessible way.
- Stimulating the development of blockchain - promoting the service offer, supporting blockchain projects through networking, and identifying the needs of companies.
- Training the talents of tomorrow - contributing to the implementation of a training offer.
- Acting as a Think Tank - inspiring Walloon actors with "best practices" and peer testimonials, stimulating reflection and formulating proposals on practices and the implementation of a legal framework favourable to the development of blockchain.
A European perspective
Despite its young age, new actors continue to join the initiative on a regular basis and the aim of this network is also to expand at the European level by developing synergies with similar initiatives. Relationships already exist with the other Belgian regions (Brussels & Flanders), Luxembourg, and France. Walchain is open to any new contacts, and hopefully collaboration, for the development of numerous joint projects around this promising technology.
The WalChain network invites all interested individuals or companies/institutions (research, development or users) to participate in the development of the network by contacting them: firstname.lastname@example.org