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Infrachain Summit 2021: Blockchain & Industry 4.0 Report

Fayot

The fifth edition of the Infrachain Summit was organised in an innovative hybrid format on November 18, 2021. Hosted by Infrachain at the LHoFT/House of Startups in Luxembourg and by the co-organiser Net Service at BIG, Boost Innovation Garage in Bologna (IT), the conference also went virtual to offer a worldwide accessible experience. From Blockchain and Industry 4.0 to Blockchain and the circular Economy and Blockchain and the creative industries, the event featured 4 high level keynote speakers, 10 use case presentations and an international audience of some 200 participants.

Fabrice Croiseaux, Chairman of Infrachain opened the conference by underlining that the Infrachain Summit is not a cryptocurrency conference but an opportunity for participants to discover  operational use cases in cross-sector industries based on blockchain technology.

The opening was followed by an introduction keynote speech by Franz Fayot, Minister of the economy (Luxembourg). “Blockchain applications are addressing the needs for solutions that are driving the digital and ecological transformation of the economy, including the industry,” Minister Fayot recognised the importance of blockchain for Luxembourg and its role in the green transition and digital transformation that play a central role in relaunching the economy and in best positioning Luxembourg for the future.

INDUSTRY 4.0

Stephan Grengs, Director Manufacturing & Supply Chain of IEE introduced the Blockchain and Industry 4.0 track with a keynote on blockchain in operational business. IEE provides innovative sensing solutions and electronics manufacturing services for automotive, building management & security and Health Tech. Grengs presented the challenges of his industry and concluded by raising questions to be addressed by the following speakers: “How can blockchain supports the industry 4.0? In cybersecurity, communication standards, availability of data, transparency, and maybe many other things we don’t even know.”

The first use case of the Industry 4.0 panel was presented by Dr. Martin Holland, VP Business Development and Strategy of PROSTEP AG, a vendor-neutral consulting and software company for any and every aspect of product lifecycle management (PLM), who talked about the IP-Protection and life cycle tracking for additive manufactured products using Blockchain Technology. Dr. Holland elaborated on the SAMPL Project which, “(…) uses a reference platform with Blockchain and printer integration as well as Blockchain REST services for licensing, documentation of print process data, live cycle tracking.” His presentation was followed by a live demo using smart contracts to print a determined amount of 3D items.

The audience was then able to discover a use case in the protection of intellectual property in engineering with Violetta Shishkina, Co-founder of CADchain. Shishkina insisted on the cruciality of using blockchain to keep files safe. “Blockchain can add value to IP systems. It can help establish proof of existence, creatorship, and ownership of trade secret by timestamping and tracking it.” She also introduced the BORIS plugin for Autodesk Inventor which creates a geometric twin of the CAD files and stores meta data related to these files on blockchain.

The ice-cream sector was also present at the Infrachain Summit. Carlo Giannelli, Associate Professor at the University of Ferrara dipped into the servitization in the era of Blockchain focusing on the ice cream supply chain, “We use blockchain to store information on the amount of ingredients used by each ice cream machine, in a non-modifiable manner.” Comparable to a 3D printer, the pay-per-use gelato allows owners to keep track of the amount of mix poured into the machine, the blockchain platform receives the data in a secure manner directly from the machine.

The track was concluded by a panel discussion on “Blockchain and Industry 4.0: unleashing the potential of the data driven economy” with the use case presenters joined by Kevin Thizy, Consultant Software Engineer at InTech. Nicolas Sanitas, Senior Advisor at the Digital Innovation Hub Luxembourg was the moderator.

The morning session was concluded by a presentation of the Infrachain Summit 2021 Blockchain Master sponsor Fujitsu on building enterprise blockchain solutions with a purpose. Frederik De Breuck, Head of the Enterprise Blockchain – Track and Trust Solution Center at Fujitsu Western Europe introduced Rice Exchange (Ricex) which uses automation and blockchain technology to improve the traditional rice trade by delivering greater profits for small farmers, less waste and social good. He concluded by stating that, “There is no real business value in telling what you will do, the true value sits in explaining what you have already done to make it better. I think that’s the true belief in the enterprise blockchain center.”

Read what happened in the circular economy panel and the creative industries panel.

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