The European Commission (EC) is launching a new blockchain research project focused on non-financial applications of the technology.
Called "#Blockchain4EU: Blockchain for Industrial Transformations", the effort will run from now until February 2018 under the direction of two EC bodies: the Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs and the Joint Research Centre.
The goal, according to a recent blog post announcing the project, is to "identify, discuss and communicate" areas in which the existing and emerging applications of blockchain and DLT can transform EU industrial businesses, effectively acting like a kind of study group.
According to the Commission, which is the executive arm of the EU, #Blockchain4EU will "explore future socio-technical scenarios of production, distribution and use", looking at benefits and risks through the lens of small and medium-sized businesses.
The Joint Research Centre is said to combine behavioral analysis and forecasting design into its desk-and-field research process, bringing together contributions from developers, social and economic scientists, entrepreneurs, labor representatives, lawyers and policymakers from local, national and EU-level jurisdictions.
The news comes almost two months after the EC announced a €500k budget for a wider pilot project to improve its institutional knowledge of blockchain. The commission further said in February that it aims to expand its support for trials involving the technology.
European Commission headquarters image via IDN/Shutterstock