In May 2023, the European Union (EU) completed PLANET, a project under the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Its goal was to tackle the challenges of evaluating the effects of emerging global trade routes on the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and ensuring the seamless integration of Europe into the Global Network. This was achieved by focusing on two main areas of research and development. PLANET effectively developed self-contained scenarios of potential future world situations, based on macroeconomic, geo-demographic, and political insights. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was employed to create various medium-term scenarios in the field of global logistics and to evaluate the impact of industry parameters and emerging innovations. The successful implementation of the program was made possible by utilizing blockchain technology such as smart contracts.
BLOCKCHAIN INTEROPERABILITY SERVICE
The blockchain interoperability platform, developed by researchers in the PLANET programme and named EGTN, aimed to connect different blockchain systems. This platform was specifically created to meet the requirements of large transport and logistics (T&L) organizations that have invested in independent blockchain applications to support their business needs. However, these organizations have struggled to establish interfaces with multiple proprietary blockchain systems, hindering seamless global trade. To address these challenges, smart contracts were utilized to facilitate automated and paperless negotiations. This not only improved customs control but also enhanced trust, confidentiality, and ensured the authenticity and integrity of data. The platform acted as a universal front end, enabling the sharing of master data as a single, jointly agreed upon, and undisputed reference source. Additionally, it supported the sharing of transport events and adhered to T&L standards such as GS1.
THE NEED FOR FURTHER FUNDING
The technology has undergone successful testing at PLANET Living Labs, and the proof of concept is fully functional and can serve as a foundation for future development. However, there are some challenges that need to be addressed. Additional funding will be necessary, and the project will further require the expertise and technical resources of relevant professionals.