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Rotterdam launches blockchain field lab as part of ‘smartest port’ initiative

The Port Authority of Rotterdam and the Municipality of Rotterdam are jointly financing a field lab to study and implement blockchain solutions, with a blockchain application for stock financing in the port logistics sector already completed.

   A blockchain field lab has been launched by the Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Municipality of Rotterdam in a joint effort to develop fully-functional applications and solutions.
   The research lab, dubbed “BlockLab”, is an initiative of the two partners who are also jointly funding the project and developed by a team of five from the Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam. In the field lab, theoretical blockchain ideas will be developed and tested for operational use. BlockLab will serve as a knowledge center for the regional private sector, the Port of Rotterdam said in a statement.
   One of the first concrete projects is a blockchain application for stock financing in the port logistics sector, which was developed in partnership with Exact and ABN AMRO, the port announced.
   
“There’s this huge buzz about ‘blockchain’, but actually, there aren’t that many fully functional applications,” said Rotterdam’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Affairs Maarten Struijvenberg. “We’ll be changing this with BlockLab. This is important, because we need real innovations to launch the next economy. And blockchain can help us realist them.” 
   Port Authority President and CEO Allard Castelein noted that blockchain technology can allow users to set up a “finely meshed decentralised power network,” in which entities can trade and exchange power. “This gives new impetus to the energy transition in the port,” he said.
   “This alone makes it very interesting to us,” said Castelein. “But I’m also thinking of the numerous applications that can be realized within logistics chains thanks to blockchain, allowing us to organize cargo flows more efficiently. This step is seamlessly in line with our ‘smartest port’ ambitions.”

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