The areas of application for blockchain are virtually unlimited. Industries have therefore been identified for the BSTART project that could particularly benefit from blockchain technology – the agricultural and food sectors, logistics and healthcare. After all, blockchain is regarded as one of the major innovations in making it possible to exchange and store all kinds of information quickly and securely. Data for payments, for instance, can be stored locally in databases. It is considered to be tamper-proof, as it isn’t just the data itself that is automatically documented but also all transactions.
This technology can be used wherever data is exchanged and stored. However, the outlay for carrying out the relevant conversions of corporate processes has so far been very high and an almost insurmountable obstacle for many SMEs.
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is one of nine partners. It will be working in the field of health with the French cluster Medicen Paris Region. The aim is to ascertain the potential of blockchain technology for SMEs and make it easier for them to get started. Ultimately, blockchain should help them transfer data securely. “E-health only works if secure sharing of sensitive health data is ensured,” says BioRegio STERN project manager Dr. Margot Jehle, adding: “Using blockchain to manage medical files may offer doctors and patients completely new possibilities – for example, for safeguarding patients’ rights to be able to access their own data and track data usage under the new data protection legislation. We’re eager to see what specific applications we’ll develop in conjunction with the companies in the BSTART project.”
The kick-off in March 2019 brought together the representatives of the nine BSTART partners for the first time in the Dutch city of Heerlen:
- from the Netherlands: Brightlands Smart Services Campus (lead partner), Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Oost Nederland and the software developer ChainPoint B.V.
- from France: the clusters Medicen Paris Region and Option Public
- from Belgium: the innovation centre Multitel asbl
- from the UK: University of Surrey
- from Germany: the cluster BioRegio STERN Management GmbH
Interreg forms part of the European Union’s structural and investment policy, which supports cross-border cooperation between regions and cities. The Interreg North-West Europe Programme fosters transnational collaboration between the UK, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and Germany in various sectors to boost innovative capabilities.