Because of the blockchain, in the future there is going to be less reliance on central points of authority to handle data transactions and the rules around how that data is used.Marko Balabanovic
Chief Technology Officer, Digital Catapult
Digital Catapult is focused on three areas of advanced digital technology: Future Networks, Artificial Intelligence and Immersive. However, we also actively explore additional technologies with great potential for UK industry, as well broad enabling technologies necessary for many of our projects.
Originally developed to handle Bitcoin transactions, distributed ledgers such as blockchain have huge potential to disrupt marketplaces and change the way people work, collaborate and do business together.
‘Smart contracts’ and the resulting decentralised marketplaces can be applied to create new business models both in creative industries and in distributed manufacturing.
Digital Catapult is working with partners across industry and academia to develop real-world prototypes using this revolutionary advanced digital technology. The manufacturing and creative industries have industry-wide challenges in tracking products through manufacture/creation and shipping/distribution in a trusted digital environment. For example: enabling digital supply chains to more robustly track the provenance of physical and digital goods (for instance, it is estimated that up to 15% of parts in the aerospace supply chain may be counterfeit); or managing intellectual property within multi-organisational teams.
Digital Catapult and the UK Games Fund have developed a smart contracts working prototype. Using the Ethereum blockchain, the project allows individuals to come together to jointly create and manage new creative intellectual property without the need for a formal joint venture.
Digital Catapult’s work in this area is focused on supporting development of a thriving and dynamic cyber security sector in the UK. New applications of future networks, artificial intelligence and immersive technologies all depend on a strong underpinning of secure systems, and create new markets for cybersecurity companies.