The Dutch Blockchain Research Agenda

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In the last few months Balazs was participating in the creation of the Dutch Blockchain Research Agenda for NWO, the Dutch Science Agency.

The Agenda spells out the research priorities, and topics where more interdisciplinary research is needed.  To quote the Agenda: “Given the complex fabric of technological and societal questions around blockchain, future research seems to require at least the awareness of this multi-disciplinarity, or even seek collaboration across the boundaries of disciplines. Blockchain research carries many challenges on the level of research design and methodology. As is the case with systems focused research, the proper demarcation of scope of future research projects and programmes is essential. This scope also sets the disciplinary mix that needs to be involved. At the same time, it should be ensured that the required disciplinary progress can happen, especially since different disciplines require research at different time scales.

Since blockchain technology is a moving target, in terms of research methodology one must also consider more exploratory, theory generating,
high risk and open-ended approaches, including tools such as mathematical modelling and analysis, business modelling, techno-economic analysis, functional and non-functional design and testing, action research, simulations and experiments in research labs and living labs, horizon scanning, etc. As this research agenda includes both fundamental and applied research, it requires active involvement from non-academic stakeholders from public bodies, industry, market sectors and the general public.

Another methodological challenge is the futureproofing of research. In such a volatile field, it is often difficult to distinguish issues relevant only in the short term, versus long term blockchain specific problems, versus fundamental research questions that cut across multiple digital technologies and have been and will be with us for decades.


There are several streams of investment that fuel research in the blockchain technology domain. Private investment through venture capital and
ICOs (crowdsourcing) as well as public investment by governments, universities, and research funding bodies should be aligned in a smart way.
In that context it seems inevitable to identify the fields that Dutch academia, research institutes and research departments of Dutch organisations are
best positioned to answer, either because they already excel in certain domains, or because they want to build skills and research capacity through
strategic investment.

The Agenda is now public And can be downloaded from here:
 Dutch Blockchain Research Agenda

COST | Home

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Would you be interested in partnering up for a blockchain related H2020 COST action? I would certainly be!

COST is an EU-funded programme that enables researchers to set up their interdisciplinary research networks in Europe and beyond. We provide funds for organising conferences, meetings, training schools, short scientific exchanges or other networking activities in a wide range of scientific topics. By creating open spaces where people and ideas can grow, we unlock the full potential of science.

Source: COST | Home

5M€ in prizes for social innovations using Blockchains for social good | Digital Single Market

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If you plant to apply and need the legal / policy angle, please get in touch, maybe we can team up! working on practical projects with stakeholders is a great way for us to do policy research!

 

The European Commission has launched a new Horizon Prize: ‘Blockchains for Social Good’. 5 prizes of EUR 1 million each will be awarded to innovators that use Blockchain technology to develop decentralized solutions bringing about positive social change.

Source: 5M€ in prizes for social innovations using Blockchains for social good | Digital Single Market

H2020 ICT-28-2018 Future Hyper-connected Sociality

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If you are thinking to apply with a blockchain based idea, and you need the policy angle, here we are!

 

Specific Challenge:

Future social networks, media and platforms will become the way our societies operate for communication, exchange, business, creation, learning and knowledge acquisition. The challenge is to mobilise a positive vision as to the role that Social Media will increasingly play in all these areas, and to overcome today’s critical issues about trust and governance through democratic reputation mechanisms, and user experience.

Scope:

Analysing and building the foundation of next generation Social Media platforms towards a “Global Social Sphere”, based on peer-to-peer/decentralised, community approaches and free/open source principles. This foundation shall enhance the role of prosumers, communities and small businesses, mastering technological barriers, introducing innovative and participatory forms of quality journalism, and using various data in a secure manner. These activities should contribute to overcome the current accumulation of power by central intermediaries often located outside Europe. Proposals are invited for one of the following four subtopic

https://ec.europa.eu/research/participants/portal/desktop/en/opportunities/h2020/topics/ict-28-2018.html

H2020 ICT-32-2018 STARTS – The Arts stimulating innovation

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Combining art and legal research is not a usual thing, but I think artists are the avant-garde of the developments that law is the rear-guard of.

Let’s think about how we can combine law and art research!

 

Challenge:The ever-increasing role of technology in our daily life offers huge potential for added value for our society. Artists can help unleash this potential. They can help shape a better relation of technology and humans and stimulate human-centred innovation through their transversal competencies and unconventional thinking. The challenge of the S+T+ARTS=STARTS program – innovation at the nexus of Science, Technology and the Arts – is to better address innovation in industry and society by engaging artists in European R&I projects to explore unconventional art-inspired solutions to industrial/societal problems.Scope:The topic will support art-driven innovation in European R&I projects by inclusion of artists in research consortia.

Source: STARTS – The Arts stimulating innovation

H2020 ICT-28-2018 – Future Hyper-connected Sociality

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Specific Challenge:Future social networks, media and platforms will become the way our societies operate for communication, exchange, business, creation, learning and knowledge acquisition. The challenge is to mobilise a positive vision as to the role that Social Media will increasingly play in all these areas, and to overcome today’s critical issues about trust and governance through democratic reputation mechanisms, and user experience.Scope:Analysing and building the foundation of next generation Social Media platforms towards a “Global Social Sphere”, based on peer-to-peer/decentralised, community approaches and free/open source principles. This foundation shall enhance the role of prosumers, communities and small businesses, mastering technological barriers, introducing innovative and participatory forms of quality journalism, and using various data in a secure manner. These activities should contribute to overcome the current accumulation of power by central intermediaries often located outside Europe. Proposals are invited for one of the following four subtopics:Innovation ActionTrustful and Secure Data Ecosystem for Social Media and Media.a) Content verification – Development of intermediary-free solutions addressing information veracity for Social Media. The solutions to be developed shall contribute to the understanding of information cascades, the spreading of information and the identification of information sources, the openness of algorithms and users’ access to and control of their personal data (such as profiles, images, videos, biometrical, geolocation data and local data). Proposals are expected to develop and pilot solutions with a large existing community of citizens, and consortia may include inter alia partners from media, social media, distributed architectures, security and blockchain developers. Linked to this and in order to allow mastering better the complexity for users of Social Media, a Digital Companion interaction component may also be realised. The actions on this subtopic will cooperate for setting-up the basis of an observatory as described in d).

Source: Future Hyper-connected Sociality

Transformative impact of disruptive technologies in public services- DT-TRANSFORMATIONS-02-2018-2019-2020

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The H2020 Transformations-2 challenge is to assess the potential benefits and risks of using disruptive technologies in public administrations as well as the social impact, including the impact on public servants, of using them for government processes and governance (e.g. for registers, for archiving, for decision-making processes, etc.). In addition, the political, socio-economic, legal and cultural implications of disruptive technologies and their acceptance are important not only for public administrations, but also for citizens.Scope:The use of disruptive technologies (such as block-chain, big data analytics, Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, algorithmic techniques, simulations and gamification) in public administrations, public goods, public governance, public engagement, public-private partnerships, public third sector partnerships and policy impact assessment is growing and can be very beneficial. Yet, the real potential impact of such technologies and the ways in which they can disrupt the existing landscape of public services and legal procedures and can replace present solutions and processes are largely unknown. As a result, deploying these disruptive technologies in public administration requires a thorough assessment of their potential impact, benefits and risks for the delivery of public goods.

Source: Transformative impact of disruptive technologies in public services

Study on opportunity and feasibility of a EU blockchain infrastructure | Digital Single Market

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The EU Commission is looking carefully at blockchain developments with the objective of setting the right conditions for an open, innovative, trustworthy, transparent, and EU law compliant data and transactional environment. In this context, the European Commission is launching a study for 250.000€ to assess the opportunity and feasibility of a EU Blockchain Infrastructure (study reference: SMART 2017/0044).

Source: Study on opportunity and feasibility of a EU blockchain infrastructure | Digital Single Market