SPSCT18 Expert Profile: BLOC – Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration


Blockchain Labs for Open Collaboration (BLOC) is a revolutionary thought leadership initiative that is driving collaborative innovation in the maritime industry and wider supply chain. 

BLOC’s goal is to build a systemic approach to developing technology. It was established to deliver open, collaborative research within the ports, shipping and energy.

This means bringing together technology partners to research the power of blockchain and other smart technologies to improve supply chain efficiencies, and at the same time as facing some of the biggest industry challenges head-on. 

In April 2018, it began a project in collaboration with the World Bank to explore how blockchain and related technologies can help supply chain companies comply with the International Maritime Organisation’s (IMO) 2020 regulations on sulphur emission.

In doing so, it co-authored a report called ‘Blockchain and Emerging Digital Technologies for Enhancing Post-2020 Climate Markets’, in which it delved into detail on the transformative power of blockchain and other smart technologies.

Another of its eco-friendly initiatives was the collaboration with GoodFuels Marine, the world’s first supplier of sustainable low carbon marine fuels.

The initiative saw the world’s first bunker delivery and transaction used entirely on blockchain on September 7 2018, as part of the GoodShipping Programme, a scheme that commits shippers to reducing CO2 emissions.         



Find out more about the transformative power of blockchain by reading a Port Technology technical paper

In March 2018, it announced a funding partnership to set up Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), [Link to page] the objective of which is to explore the potential of blockchain within critical infrastructure and its ability to drive new business models for the global maritime industry.  

Another goal of MBL is to establish an ecosystem within the maritime sector to inspire innovation and collaboration between blockchain practitioners and industry players, including sharing knowledge and collectively shaping solutions to shared problems.

To learn more about blockchain and how its potential to change the industry, read a PTI Insight – 'Blockchain: The Missing Links'

September 2018 saw BLOC chosen by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as one of the eight most promising solutions to the questions 'How can coastal communities mitigate and adapt to climate change while developing and prospering?'

Blockchain’s potential to transform the way ports, shipping lines and logistics businesses operate is being closely scrutinized and hotly debated, with its potential to bring down supply chain barriers being demonstrated by a series of high profile experiments and collaborations.

All this means the fifth session of day 1 of the SPSCT18 Rotterdam conference will be a must-attend. Katherine Foster, Chief Strategy Officer, BLOC, will give a presentation on the power of blockchain and the huge benefits that data sharing and collaboration have to offer. 

She will then participate in a panel discussion with other top executives, including Igor Jakomin, COO, CargoX and Jose Garcia de la Guia, Information Technology Manager, Port of Valencia. Moderated by Henrik Hvid Jensen, one of the founders of the IBM-Maersk blockchain initiative.

Be sure not to miss the October 2-3 Smart Ports and Supply Chain Technologies Conference in Rotterdam, which will bring together top industry leaders and present the latest sector advancement projects.

If you would like a unique insight into the transformative power of blockchain, you can send Foster or any of our other speakers a question which will then be answered at SPSCT18 through this link.

Join the conversation at @PortTechnology #SPSC18!

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