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Fujitsu targets smart city innovation with blockchain center in Belgium

Japanese company says blockchain will be key in the development of future smart cities


Fujitsu has opened its international blockchain innovation center in Brussels, Belgium in a move to explore how the technology can improve the design and implementation of smart cities.

Fujitsu said that the new center will undertake research with external partners, collaborating on specific projects to explore the technology’s potential.

The Japanese firm also said that it aims to develop blockchain beyond financial services, due to the growing interest from customers to better understand blockchain technology and its impact on business.

The company highlighted that blockchain has the potential to be applicable to a variety of areas where a ledger-based audit trail is needed, including logistics, supply chain and public ledgers such as real estate ownership, voting ID and smart contracts.

“We are already seeing high levels of interest from our customers in better understanding how they can integrate blockchain into business processes. Our new blockchain innovation center in Brussels demonstrates the importance Fujitsu attaches to blockchain as a technology, and to Brussels as location for supporting our international customers investigating or already implementing blockchain solutions,” said Yves de Beauregard, head of Fujitsu Benelux.

One particular area of expertise that Fujitsu plans to develop in the innovation center is the use of blockchain for the design and implementation of smart city services, focusing not only on technology, but also on important aspects of the city of the future, such as sociological and demographic factors, societal organization, economic functioning and ecological challenges.

Fujitsu’s new center will support and encourage research, development and innovation both for Brussels and for other cities, through the funding of innovative projects by companies, research organizations and the non-commercial sector.

“We believe that blockchain will play a crucial role in the development of smart cities. The use of blockchain technology, with its potential in public ledger and voting ID, and its capacity to automate processes and auditing in smart contracts, will doubtlessly play an important role in this changing ecosystem,” said Frederik De Breuck, pre-sales and business assurance director at Fujitsu Benelux.

Telecommunications carries are starting to study potential developments of blockchain platforms for the telecom industry. LG Uplus, Etisalat Group, KT, Telefónica and PLDT have recently become members of the Carrier Blockchain Study Group (CBSG) as part of an initiative to develop a blockchain platform specifically for telecom carriers.

CBSG also serves as a working group for members to resolve issues associated with technology, business and the regulations of various jurisdictions. The new members join members Japan-based SoftBank, TBCASoft, Sprint and Far EasTone.

Blockchain is a technology that enables web transactions to be conducted and recorded in a decentralized, distributed way using an online ledger. Service providers have become attracted to blockchain as a means of building blockchain-based digital services and providing security in the budding IoT ecosystem. In a recent report by IBM consisting of nearly 3,000 global executives from 20 industries, approximately 76% of communications service provider (CSP) executives exploring or actively engaged with blockchain said security was an important reason to invest in the technology, while 46% saw it as an opportunity to cultivate new business models.

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