Lloyd’s Register Foundation (the Foundation) and Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) have announced a funding partnership to set up Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), which will explore the use of blockchain for the assurance and safety of critical infrastructure and drive new business models for the global maritime industry.
The Foundation, a UK charity funding the advancement of engineering-related education, is one of the founding members and lead funder of the initiative.
Over the next 18 months, the collaboration will provide resources for Maritime Blockchain Labs to pursue three demonstrator projects focussed on aspects of risk and safety where distributed systems can enable breakthrough solutions.
Another objective of MBL is to establish an ecosystem within the sector to foster innovation and collaboration between blockchain practitioners and industry actors, share knowledge and best practices, collectively define problems, and shape solutions that are open and interoperable.
BLOC is an organization established to drive and deliver thought leadership, stakeholder capacity building, rapid demonstrator prototyping, and open, collaborative research and development within the maritime and energy industries and carbon markets.
Deanna MacDonald, CEO, BLOC, said: “We are delighted to have the backing and support of the Lloyd’s Register Foundation.
“They share with us the belief in the importance of BLOC’s mission: to apply blockchain to real-world problems, with the aim of building secure and accessible global digital infrastructure for maritime, a sector where distributed systems offer so many opportunities for impactful advancement.
“Our objectives are twofold: to get real-world applications on the ground as soon as possible, and to share knowledge and methodologies among users.
“Blockchain is fundamentally a collaborative technology and will only truly transform the industry if we are all working from the same, or interlinked, systems, rather than competing.”
Read a technical paper by MacDonald on the opportunities for the use of container streams as an interoperable blockchain-enabled, DLT-based system for the shipping industry
Gary Pogson, the author of Lloyd’s Register Foundation and the Alan Turing Institute’s Insight Report on Distributed Ledger technologies, commented: “In our recent Insight Report on Distributed Ledger Technologies, we conclude that distributed ledger and blockchain technologies have a potentially wide range of applications related to engineered systems and supply chains, particularly in helping to address safety challenges of sectors such as maritime.
“Maritime Blockchain Labs and its projects will drive intelligent, informed blockchain adoption in the maritime sector through demonstrator projects that will deliver first-hand, real-world insight into how these technologies can be applied, and how the industry can realise maximum benefit from their capabilities.”
MacDonald continued: “The three demonstrators will build, apply and model the use of distributed systems to create impacts that enhance safety of life and property at sea and serve as case examples to be shared with the community.
“By fostering a collaborative approach we can derisk the space, demonstrate capacity and build the technical as well as educational foundations necessary for collectively developing and applying this emerging technology.”