A Finnish development agency is piloting a blockchain-based logistics application in order to revolutionize the supply chain.The project is set for three years and is funded by 2.4 million Euros from EU’s INTERREG Central Baltic.
Kouvola Innovation Ltd, or simply Kinno, is a development agency owned by the City of Kouvola, Finland. On the 1st of September 2016, a new project by Kinno – SmartLog – is kicking in:smart contracts are going to be built into actual shipping containers. The app is supposed to issue information about containers’ location, surroundings and such to different ERP systems.
The main partner of the project is IBM. Mika Lammi, Kinno’s Head of IoT Business Development, explains this choice by saying that “there is no other company like IBM yet that would have better understanding or insights into what blockchains are about.”
However, a lot of Finnish startups and companies are doing interesting work with blockchains, and Kinno will definitely be working with them, too, at some point.
SmartLog pioneering in logistics and in the world
Mika Lammi says to Cointelegraph:
“SmartLog has been designed as a proof-of-concept project – our main objective is to demonstrate and validate that blockchain technology application is indeed capable of reducing end-to-end transport times in any given transport corridor, major or minor.”
To achieve this goal, Kinno is going to recruit hundreds of logistics industry companies across the Baltic countries to act as pilot participants.
Then an academic research framework is going to be defined for analyzing operational data being collected from piloting companies. With the help of this data, Kinno will develop a blockchain fabric and smart contract layers in order to facilitate an enhanced way of sharing/moving data between companies.
The Kouvola city government, under whose authority Kinno exists, gives the company complete freedom of action with one request only – to do anything that helps the region’s business growth and appearance of new jobs.
Kinno’s own business development goals also involve helping to generate knowledge, experience and opportunities for their client companies in Kouvola, and they see SmartLog as a perfect platform for reaching these purposes too.
Are blockchains friend or foe?
In light ofrecent attack on The DAO’s Java-based smart contract code, many have worries concerning the security of blockchain technologies. What is Kinno going to do about security of their pilot?
“We are obviously very aware of the security aspects of our initiative, and as our goal for this project is to create a proof-of-concept level implementation using a live business environment as a development environment, we will be taking extra care both with hardware and software layers of security. We have been already bouncing some novel ideas about creating as secure an environment we possibly can, but for obvious reasons we cannot go into detail with those.”
On the other hand Lammi feels really positive about blockchain technologies and growth of this area in the future:
“I believe blockchain tech to be one of the truly disruptive and innovative application areas in the world at the moment, and that it will create huge waves across all imaginable business sectors, not just transportation alone.”
However, Lammi keeps his head cool and his feet on the ground, saying to Cointelegraph:
“That being said, I also believe that blockchain is a precision instrument in the sense that it can be effectively applied to only a handful of scenarios in any given field of business – it certainly is not a magic bullet solution in itself.”