Block.IS Challenges

Block.IS, the European Blockchain project accelerates innovation in the areas of agrifood, logistics and finance by supporting blockchain-based application proposals from market-oriented SMEs by investing up to 60.000€ (equity free) and offering mentoring services in the most promising SMEs.

The project aims at replicating successes from its three verticals (agrifood, logistics, finance) to other sectors, and it will organise 2 Innovation Challenges for innovative blockchain startups/SMEs. The top three (3) SMEs per challenge will receive €1.000 as a lump sum, while the winner of each challenge will receive an additional prize of €12.000*.

For each challenge there will be one external organization, the challenger, that will define a theme and the problem to be addressed. The theme will be announced with the challenge, though the exact problem will only be announced during the challenge kick-off.

The Challenge is set to be organised from November 2–5th, 2021.

  • Kick-off: Nov 2, 2021 09:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Business Mentoring: Nov 3, 2021 09:00  – 11:00 AM
  • Technical Mentoring: Nov 3, 2021 14:00 – 16:00 PM
  • Technical Mentoring: Nov 4, 2021 09:00 – 11:00 AM
  • Pitching: Nov 5, 2021 14:00 – 17:00 PM

Deadline for each Block.IS Challenge application submission is until October 27th 2021, 17:00 CEST (Brussels Time).

*It should be noticed that the €1.000 lump sum is added to any other grant that has been received by Block.IS so that the cumulative maximum amount of direct funding that an SME may receive via Block.IS is €60.000 via any means (e.g. open call, challenges, cluster missions, etc). The €12.000 prize is provided on top of any other funding and it is not summed to the €60.000 maximum direct funding.

Current Challenges

We are witnessing the change in the approach to the second-hand market. Both the #EUGreen Deal and the #EUCircularEconomy Action Plan focus on textiles and blockchain is a new yet powerful tool to help verify and empower business and ensure sustainability at the same time.

Tourism destinations around the world constantly are competing to find new innovative products to attract tourists to their region. Yet another starting point to improve a region´s touristic appeal is to create an easy, transparent and efficient way of payment that bundles the various services used by the tourists during their stay. The concept of having to pay for every service separately, often even in cash, is outdated and needs to be replaced by a coherent digital concept.

Past Challenges

We may be facing a change of paradigm on agrifood. European Commission has made a proposal to restore our endangered ecosystem and natural habitat while increasing our resilience and food sovereignty. #EUGreenDeal #EUBiodiversity.

Clusters and Agrifood Associations can play a significant role in providing support to the complete food value chain From Farm to Fork. The main goal is to make food systems fair, healthy and environmentally friendly. Blockchain technology could make a solid contribution to create trust and transparency in the food value chain.

The agrifood sector has shown itself capable of resisting a global pandemic and the countless problems it implies, such as the closure of borders. Innovation and development are essential to the evolution of a sector of vital importance to our regions.

Preventing new sanitary risks, improving production and logistics processes and optimizing systems will be key to ensure that products and the supply chain can withstand further potential national and international crises.

In the logistics industry, there are some areas in which blockchain technology can lead to a fundamental change. Many processes have not changed in decades and still happen on paper. This not only harms our environment but is also slow, expensive, manipulable and out of date. The use of blockchain technology, with all its advantages, could speed up the processes and thereby reduce administration costs as well as ensure the transparency and authorisation of the goods.

Blockchain has gained tremendous momentum globally and is recognised as a disruptive technology platform that has the potential to greatly disrupt many sectors. In the financial industry, where this challenge will focus, blockchain technology has already proven its versatility and positive impact. From allowing lower costs and faster execution of transactions to improving the transparency and auditability of operations, blockchain facilitates safe, easy exchanges and build trusts quickly between partners.