Blockchain innovation is a big yet unseized opportunity for SMEs in NWE. It has the potential to transform 3 of NWE’s top 5 sectors with €600bn turnover (agrofoods, logistics, health) that have shared transnational data challenges.
SMEs in agrofoods, health and logistics rely heavily on data transactions across countries, eg; tracking shipments real-time across 20-30 organisations, sharing sensitive medical records between practitioners or for research, or assuring the safety, quality, and origin of food produce. SMEs are particularly vulnerable to risks in delayed invoices & cash flow, data security, and errors in data.
Blockchain transforms data transactions by allowing for automated, efficient and secure transactions between parties that do not need to trust each other. SMEs are unable to develop & implement blockchain solutions alone, with most R&D projects and investments targeting large corporates/the finance sector, and SME-specific solutions are stuck at Technology Readiness Level TRL 4. Blockstart develops and demonstrates 4 blockchain solutions to TRL 6 in 12 SMEs enabling 10% operational efficiency, reducing costs of data errors by 20% and data security by 30%.
Blockstart selects 60 SMEs from UK/FR/DE/NL/BE to target 4 shared challenges (eg data security, tracking & invoicing). A transnational team of experts (on business models, security and incubation) and SMEs co-develop solutions such as digital smart contracts, medical e-records or combined food databases. Cross-sectoral transnational challenges allow solutions with 70% common architecture & only 30% customisation. Transnational collaboration enables connecting multiple organisations and SMEs to enter their records or blocks to the chain, thus creating value from critical mass. 1710 SMEs in partner networks will have access to the solutions and results of the testing, with 300 SMEs adopting, adding €100m turnover and 500 jobs in 5y. This brings NWE to the helm of EU blockchain innovation.