The K1-Center ABC–Austrian Blockchain Centre -mission is to be the one-stop-shop Austrian Research Centre for Blockchain (and related) technologies to be applied in industrial applications like industry 4.0 / IoT as well as financial, energy, logistics, government and administrative applications. Those new applications and business models resulting from collaborations between established players, innovative start-ups and top R&D institutes will be the key for the creation of new jobs and establishing Austria among the top ten innovative countries in Europe.
The R&D themes of the centre have been organized in five areas targeting economic, technological, applications as well as political and legal topics interfacing with existing COMET centres like CDP, SBA as well as international Blockchain initiatives.
Area 1 addresses the technical and theoretical foundations of distributed ledger technology. As we have seen in the past, understanding the mathematics and cryptography is important as these are the foundations for consensus building, which is again the very foundation of DLT. The area will also address technical aspects of different types of Blockchains and “Non-Blockchains”, Smart Contracts and transparency on the Blockchain. Blockchain & similar distributed ledger technology (DLT) has the potential to fundamentally disrupt the current economic system by enabling the replacement of intermediaries by trust less peer-to-peer systems for value exchange. Area 2 addresses the economic potentials and problems of this new paradigm. The area will study economic questions that arise in any peer-to-peer system and investigate DLT based decentralized business models in specificapplication domains.
Area 3 focuses on the technological aspects of Blockchains in Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things. The convergence of Blockchain with emerging technologies in those fields such as semantic database solutions, machine learning, cloud manufacturing, 3D printing and machine-to-machine will be at the centre of the activities.
Understanding socio-economic and technical questions that arise in blockchain-based systems requires novel data-driven methods, services and tools. The goal of Area 4is to investigate, and develop scalable data science methods, tools and services that contribute to a better understanding of the structure and dynamics of blockchain-based ecosystems and environments. A central outcome will be a horizontally scalable platform that can be used by researchers and practitioners to answer scientific or business-related questions. This area will also have a strong interdisciplinary and community-oriented and focus and involve data scientists, practitioners from the start-up community, as well as scientists with various backgrounds within and outside the ABC initiative. From an organizational perspective, this area could be organized horizontally to other areas.
As a completely new technological concept, DLT also raises demanding legal questions throughout all fields on a national and international level. Area 5aims to address legal questions arising under current legislation including matters of private, public and tax law, tries to address concepts and suggestions for future legal frameworks and starts to analyse further political implications.