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Policy Markers

How can policy makers support the digitalization for European SMEs?

policy makers

BLOCKCHERS Project and the European Parliament will celebrate next Thursday 28th of January at 11:30- 13:00 a Working Breakfast on “How policy makers can support the digitalization for European SMEs”.

The event will be hosted by Adriana Maldonado López, MEP member of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) and, substitute on the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and on the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA).

During the breakfast, attendees will have the opportunity to listen first-hand three relevant acceleration programs supported by the European Commission, who will explain in detail their use cases and business ideas, as real examples of application and success regarding the implementation of blockchain technologies in Europe.

To complete this session, the attendees will have the chance to know the main challenges that SMEs have towards their digitisation, explained by representatives of ALASTRIA. Moreover, some challenges and policy recommendation related to the future implementation of Distributed Ledged Technologies in Europe (DLT’s) will be proposed and the vision of the future of DLTs in Europe will be explained by DG Connect and EASME representatives.

In the organization of this event, BLOCKCHERS Project, coordinated by ZABALA, is joining other two acceleration programmes selected by the European Commission with a relevant role fostering the adoption of Blockchain and DLTs by the SMEs in Europe.

In the framework of the H2020 Innovation and Research Programme, the following three acceleration programmes were selected for facilitating the revolution of DLTs across European SMEs, supporting the development of innovative use-cases and supporting technological SMEs through the road to market:

  • The BLOCKCHERS project selected from more than 150 applicants a wide portfolio of SMEs and use cases, comprised by 30 teams from 12 EU countries, where the application of DLTs in new sectors and applications different from fintech was demonstrated.
  • BLOCKSTART is a 3-stage partnership programme. Each DLT/ blockchain startup receives a grant (equity-free) of up to €20,000, tailored tech and business mentoring. This accelerator is focused on fintech, ICT, and retail.
  • BLOCKPOOL project is already ongoing and has selected for funding 25 SMEs to develop and test DLT in more than 11 different DLTs and directly affecting 8 different economic sectors.

Agenda and registration

11:30 – 11:35 Introduction

• Ms. Adriana MALDONADO -MEP – Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats. Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection.

11:35 – 11:45 Vision of the future of DLTs in Europe. Initiatives at EU level.

• Mr. Daniel GASSMAN – Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, EASME.

• Mr. Rapolas LAKAVICIUS – Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology. European Commission.

11:45 – 11:50 Challenges of digital SMEs in the EU.

• Ms. Almudena de la MATA – Alastria.

11:50 – 12:05 Preliminary political recommendations based in the project experience.

• Ms. Denise DUVE and Mr. Stefan SCHMITT – Frankfurt School Blockchain Center.

12:05 -12:20 Examples of real projects and use cases directed to the spreading of the DLTs in SMEs. Acceleration programmes.

• Mr. Néstor ETXALEKU – Blockchers.

• Mr. Robert RICHTER – Blockpool.

• Mr. Joao FERNANDES –Blockstart.

12:20 – 12:50 Presentation of 3 innovative DLT application uses cases.

• Mr. Luis CARBAJO / Ms. Marta VALLES – Representatives of VOTTUN.

• Mr. José Manuel AVELINO – Representative of VESTIGIA.

• Mr. Philipp ROTHE / Ms. Rebecca JOHNSON – Representatives of Datarella.

12:50 – 13:00 Q&A.

13:00 Summary of conclusions by MEP Adriana MALDONADO

Register before the 26th of January 2021 at 17:00h CET here. The places available are limited.

About BLOCKCHERS Project

BLOCKCHERS is a H2020 project that aims to facilitate the revolution of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) across European SMEs, supporting the development of innovative use-cases. The transition to DLTs can be slow and arduous, and the reasons that are holding blockchain back from large-scale adoption are various: they need support in their early stages, the traditional SMEs can sometimes have lack of knowledge on how DLTs work or they face uncertain regulation that limits their scope of action and imply a risk for their growth.

For those reasons, BLOCKCHERS has been supporting technological SMEs through the road to market during 2019 and 2020. BLOCKCHERS difference was the focus on the use-case concept, where technological SMEs works together with another SME of a traditional sector giving them innovative solution based in DLTs. The project supports them in the development of the use case, that will impact positively both in the growth of the technological SME and in the performance of the non-technological one.

In addition to a financial support up to 50.000€ to the selected SMEs, BLOCKCHERS has put in place several free support services oriented to four types of activities: Individualized coaching process, training by experts, access to a DLT infrastructure, networking opportunities and promotion.

After two different open call with 159 eligible proposals from 30 different countries, their portfolio of SMEs and use case was comprised of 30 teams of companies from 12 different European countries. In the frame of this session, three relevant cases will explain in detail, as real examples of application and success.


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