EU funding for developing projects in the field of distributed trust based on blockchain
NGI Trublo, part of next generation internet (an initiative of the european commission, which aims to shape the internet for the future as an internet of humans) is meant to find, fund and support new ideas for ‘trustable content on future blockchains’. starting in january 2022, the project will be open for funding applications, through an open call. next generation internet comprises an ambitious research and innovation program, part of the future horizon europe (2021-2027).
The application of blockchain technology can help develop a new distributed trust model. NGI Trublo (“trustable content on future blockchains”) is seeking to fund early-stage ideas. the project started in September 2020 and has a duration of three years and a core activity is to organise three open calls.
Successful teams can receive up to 175,000 Euro in funding. the calls are for early-stage ideas. target participants are researchers, innovators and developers either as natural persons, from academia or teams from high tech companies, including SMEs, legally established in an EU member state. applications are possible from all h2020 associated countries, including some East European and many African countries.
For more information on eligibility see here.
Searching for new models
More specifically, Trublo will focus on two main areas – general models for 1. trust and reputation and 2. specific validation options for proof-of-validity and proof-of-location.
Trust and reputation models on blockchains
This focus area includes innovative applications, technologies, technical approaches and methodologies that increase trust in information using blockchain. the emphasis here is on user-generated content, internet and social media, but also considering data from iot infrastructure.
Proof-of-validity and proof-of-location
This second area aims to increase the transparency and trustworthiness of user-generated genuine content. proof-of-location would help verify the whereabouts of goods or services. such information is increasingly relevant for managing climate effects or even for fair taxation in a digital world. other examples would be trustable, verifiable information of the origin of food or clothing. covering the entire production and supply chain is possible, but there are, of course, challenges. finding ways to overcome current barriers is the goal of this research and innovation field.
Throughout the project and the three open calls, trublo will fund a total of 45 projects.
Fund, find and support innovative ideas
Trublo works in three stages:
- stage one is an initial funding period for each selected project of six months, based on a fixed funding contribution of €75,000.
- stage two is an ongoing mentoring program, which includes technical support from trublo consortium member alastria. the latter is a pioneering, non-profit platform enabling access to blockchain resources for initial tests and later scaling. mentoring further includes training on business model development to get the projects to sustainability, where possible.
- stage three then will select a total of the nine best-performing projects from phase one for an additional research and development period, with additional funding of €100,000.
So far, in the first year, from september 2020 to september 2021, trublo has already organised two open calls. in the first call conducted in spring 2020, 10 projects were selected for funding and are already active.
In the second open call, which closed for applications by september 2021, evaluation is ongoing. trublo aims to ensure unbiased selection: each application is evaluated by external experts. the best performing proposals are invited for interviews where the entire trublo consortium is present and performs the second grading of project quality.
The third and final open call will open for applications on january 27, 2022, and close on march 30, 2022. in this call, up to 20 projects can be selected for funding.
A first look at fresh ideas: The ten funded projects so far include:
- Ledgeair aims to collect aviation data for airports and airlines. the idea is to create a data mining framework around aircraft. initiated by a group of engineers from belgrad who all have years of experience, the core idea is to explore how aviation data can be turned into an asset for the industry. https://www.trublo.eu/ledgeair/
- Blocktrust will focus on reputation management for science. currently, so the observation of the team the publication of scientific articles is based on the number of articles published. how could this shift to the quality of the scientific findings using blockchain?
- Fogblock4trust aims to advance the combined use of fog (or edge) computing and blockchain. the fogblock4trust team includes members of the iot-cloud research group at the software engineering department of the university of szeged with corresponding expertise.
- Contour will develop a blockchain-based framework for online, user-generated travel reviews. the idea is to validate user recommendations posted in travel apps and social media, which are now widely used as evidence. this new approach aims to accurately communicate the reputation of the destination itself and its attractions and the quality of the respective providers such as accommodation & restaurants. https://www.trublo.eu/contour
- Shoppex tackles the frictions between brands and retailers, and consumers. the goal is to enable trust in shopping platforms, the quality of the items and other aspects relevant for good usability. experienced experts run the project from belgium. https://www.trublo.eu/shoppex/
Learn more about how to apply for trublo open call three.
About next generation internet (ngi)
Next Generation Internet (NGI) is an initiative of the European commission, which aims to shape the internet for the future as a powerful, user-centric (internet of humans) ecosystem that meets the fundamental needs of the population, including those of confidence, security and social inclusion. NGI comprises an ambitious research and innovation program based on an initial European commission investment of over € 250 million between 2018-2020 and is part of the Future Horizon Europe program (2021-2027).
for the period 2021-2022, the european commission will dedicate eur 62m to support top internet innovators in the areas of trust and data sovereignty on the internet; trustworthy open search and discovery; internet architecture and decentralised technologies; as well as enhanced eu-us and eu-canada cooperation and collaboration.
The NGI program funds the best research and innovation projects in the field of the internet, focusing on advanced technologies, including privacy, search and discovery, decentralized architectures, blockchain, internet of things, social media, interactive technologies and technologies that support multilingualism and accessibility.