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Rotterdam launches blockchain development lab

The Municipality of Rotterdam and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have jointly launched a field lab for the development and testing of applications based on blockchain technology. The new applied research lab has been christened ‘BlockLab’.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The Municipality of Rotterdam will also be financing the project, with additional support coming from the regional development corporation InnovationQuarter.

“There’s this huge buzz about blockchain, but actually, there aren’t that many fully functional applications,” said Maarten Struijvenberg, Rotterdam’s deputy mayor for economic affairs.

“We’ll be changing this with BlockLab. This is important, because we need real innovations to launch the next economy. And blockchain can help us realise them.”

One of the first concrete projects to be presented in conjunction with the official opening of the centre was a blockchain application for stock financing in the port logistics sector, which was developed in partnership with Exact and ABN AMRO.

The BlockLab will start operations with a core team of five, who will work from the Cambridge Innovation Center in Rotterdam. In the field lab, theoretical blockchain ideas will be developed, tested and applied in a real-world environment, in conjunction with a consortium of developers and users.

The team will also work with the Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences to develop a curriculum intended to create an influx of talented new blockchain researchers going forward.{/mprestriction}

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