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Fujitsu opens blockchain research centre in Brussels

Steve Rogerson
April 10, 2018



Japanese ICT company Fujitsu has opened a blockchain innovation centre in Brussels to help change the way consumers and enterprises buy, sell and exchange goods and services and for organisations to transform their commercial and operational models.
 
The centre will undertake research with external partners, collaborating on specific projects to explore the technology’s potential. With growing interest in better understanding blockchain technology and its impact on business, Fujitsu aims to develop blockchain beyond financial services as an architecture for information systems and sectors of all kinds.
 
Blockchain has the potential to be applicable to various areas where a ledger-based audit trail is needed, including logistics, supply chain, public ledgers such as real estate ownership, voting ID and smart contracts.
 
“We are already seeing high levels of interest from our customers in better understanding how they can integrate blockchain into business processes,” said Yves de Beauregard, head of Fujitsu in Benelux. “Our new blockchain innovation centre in Brussels demonstrates the importance Fujitsu attaches to blockchain as a technology, and to Brussels as location for supporting our international customers investigating or already implementing blockchain. The underlying principle of blockchain is that transactions are virtually impossible to alter, creating a high level of trust. This is just the beginning, as we intend to explore the wider potential use of blockchain in a variety of commercial areas.”
 
One particular area of expertise that Fujitsu plans to develop in the innovation centre is the use of blockchain for the design and implementation of smart city services, focusing not only on technology, but also on important aspects of the city of the future, such as sociological and demographic factors, societal organisation, economic functioning and ecological challenges.
 
“We believe that blockchain will play a crucial role in the development of smart cities,” said Frederik De Breuck, director at Fujitsu Benelux.
 
According to the National League of Cities, more than half the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, and this proportion is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050.
 
“This trend will place increased demands on local governments and give rise to new ecosystems with multiple challenges to address, from public safety, infrastructure, transportation and housing,” said De Breuck. “This development will drive the need for cities to adapt and evolve into smart cities, which combine ICT with infrastructure and architecture to address social, economic and environmental problems. The use of blockchain technology, with its potential in public ledger and voting ID, and its capacity to automate processes and auditing in smart contracts, will doubtlessly play an important role in this changing ecosystem.”
 
The centre will support and encourage research, development and innovation both for Brussels and for other cities, through the funding of projects by companies, research organisations and the non-commercial sector.
 
“Belgium is the ideal place to establish an international competence centre such as the Fujitsu blockchain innovation centre,” said Kris Peeters, deputy prime minister of Belgium. “Belgium is located in the centre of Europe. Moreover, Belgium’s economy is driven by innovation. Furthermore, our people have great language skills, which make them great collaborators in any multinational company or international project. It is important that all levels of government continue to actively work with innovative companies to sustain the overall economic fabric in Belgium.”