Blockchain innovation for sustainability can earn €1 million EIC prize

06 June 2018 2 min. read
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The European Innovation Council has launched a prize fund for blockchain innovators looking to use the technology to promote sustainability. The multimillion award will be divided between five successful applicants after September 2019.

Having come to prominence as the technology underpinning Bitcoin, blockchain initially made its presence felt in the financial sector. As a result, a great number of firms of all shapes and sizes have rushed to explore its applications in the lucrative arena. However, to limit blockchain to the financial sector would be to waste much of its potential.

As a result, blockchain has also since made waves in the freight and logistics industry, while entities in every sector from insurance to retail are seeking to exploit its transformative impact to promote security and prevent fraud. The versatile technology is already being used to build financial registries to enable micro-payments; operational registries to track and certify products; smart contracts and payment mechanisms, and even in the evolution of the energy industry.

Blockchain innovation for sustainability can earn €1 million EIC prize

In recognition of blockchain’s versatility, as well as its potential to facilitate social good, the European Union has launched a competition that will provide five top blockchain solution with a substantial financial jackpot. The European Innovation Council (EIC) launched the contest as part of the Horizon 2020 program to develop the best social and sustainable blockchain innovation.

Horizon 2020 as a whole is centred on "the development of scalable, efficient and high impact decentralized solutions for social innovation challenges based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), such as those used in blockchains". In practice, this sees the group run a number of initiatives in order to support new schemes in fair trade, transparency processes, financial inclusion and decentralised data management, among other issues.

The five lucky entrants will each receive €1 million to further develop their innovation, as the competition, 'Blockchains for Social Good' is aimed at stimulating sustainability through blockchain technology. The contest is now open for submissions, which will run until the 3rd of September 2019, though registration with the EIC is first necessary, with that process open until April 2019.

Related: Blockchain a game changer for banks looking to 'Know Your Customer'.