Edinburgh Napier has partnered with Eyecademy to use blockchain technology to develop verifiable records for the supply journey of ethically-sourced ecological food.
This will be one of the firsts projects undertaken at the university’s new Blockpass innovation Identity lab, in collaboration with the Glasgow-based leading data and analytics provider, Eyecademy. Blockpass Identity Lab uses cutting-edge blockchain research to drive innovation.
A blockchain is a growing list of records or ‘blocks’, which is secured using cryptography and resistant to modification because it’s owned by everyone who has a copy – but it doesn’t automatically mean that any one person who has a copy also has control. If someone who has one or more copies on their computers would try to change it, those changes would be rejected by all the different computers used in the verification process – things wouldn’t match up, and it has to match up perfectly on every copy of the record. This makes the blockchain a secure and unbreakable line, resistant to modification, that can be used for many different innovative applications, such as following the supply chain of our ecologically grown food.
The new research project aims to use the technology to overcome difficulties around the provenance of organic produce, reassuring consumers of ethical sources, countries of origin and producers in the journey from farm to table. In this application, blockchain technology can be used by countries like Scotland to protect and promote national brands on the international stage.
The collaborative technology could also be used in further applications to follow supply journeys for raw materials from a variety of industries, connecting producers, distributors, regulatory bodies and consumers.
Professor Bill Buchanan, Director of the Blockpass Identity Lab, said: “Edinburgh Napier is keen to work with innovative companies like Eyecademy around blockchain to take full advantage of this new world we are creating.The application of blockchain and tracking methods will allow us to create a trustworthy trail for food and thus support both the providers and their customers.”
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