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The European Innovation Council awards €5 million to blockchain solutions for social innovation

Source: European Commission

The European Innovation Council (EIC) Prize on Blockchains for Social Good has awarded €5 million to six winners selected in a call to identify scalable, deployable and high-impact blockchain solutions for societal challenges. The winning solutions propose blockchain applications for fair trade and circular economy, increasing transparency in production processes and quality information, improving accountability and contributing to financial inclusion and renewable energy.

Blockchain for Social Innovation

The goal of the EIC (European Innovation Council) Prize on Blockchains for Social Good was to recognise and support the efforts made by developers and civil society in exploring the applications of blockchains in the area of social innovation. The Prize proposed to cover areas such as: traceability and fair trade; financial inclusion; decentralised circular economy; transparency of public processes; participation in democratic decision-making; and management of public records.

The Prize sought to award 1 million euros to the five innovators that come up with the most promising Blockchain solutions in five different social innovation areas.

The winners

Most of the winning applications can be applied in rural areas and sectors to provide solutions to many of the current challenges faced. Of particular relevance for rural areas are the following winners:

  • Decentralised Circular Economy: CKH2020 (by French cooperative Kleros) is a platform for resolving consumer disputes in e-commerce or collaborative economy. Blockchain guarantees that no party can tamper with the evidence nor manipulate jury selection and that rulings are automatically enforced by smart contracts.
  • Traceability & Fair Trade: PPP (by UK social enterprise Project Provenance Ltd) developed Proof Points to allow businesses to prove their social impact across the supply chains behind their business and products.

  • Financial Inclusion: GMeRitS (by Finnish university Aalto) is conducting wide scale experiments with alternative economic structures, to try and evaluate various anti-rival compensation and governance structures, contributing to financial inclusion.

  • Energy: PROSUME (by Italian Prosume srl) is a DLT-based platform providing a decentralized and autonomous digital marketplace for peer-to-peer energy trading. Its goal is to integrate prosumers – consumers who are also producers of renewable energy- in the so far highly monopolised and fossils-based energy sector.

This list indicates six winning applications, instead of five as originally foreseen. This is because the last two applications finished ex-aequo, and the Jury recommended funding both of them (by splitting equally the 5th Prize), all the more as they belonged to 2 different areas. In this way, the final scope of the Prize extends to six different areas.

It is worth pointing out that one of the requirements of the Prize was to submit solutions developed in Open Source. This will enable more innovators to benefit from the advanced technological solutions developed by the prize winners and the other participants in the Prize.