The European Innovation Council (EIC) has awarded €5m to six companies that have proven scalable, deployable, and high-impact blockchain solutions for societal challenges. The six winners of the EIC Prize on Blockchains for Social Good have been selected among nearly 180 participants from 43 countries who applied for the call between May 2018 and September 2019. The results of this Prize are very important for the development of the Next Generation Internet (NGI) initiative, which will continue to explore the potential of Blockchain in new application areas, in particular, to address local and global sustainability challenges in relation to the SDGs, reads the official release.
“The proposed solutions show how blockchain can create positive social change by supporting fair trade, increasing transparency in production processes and e-commerce, and contributing to financial inclusion by exploring decentralized economic structures. I hope that this award can help upscale these outstanding ideas and inspire many other innovators,” says Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation Research, Culture, Education and Youth.
The 6 social innovators on the block
The goal of the initiative was to identify and support the efforts made by developers and civil society in exploring the applications of blockchain tech for social innovation. Most of the applicants (80%) were startups and SMEs, but there was also a 10% universities applying with their own developments.
Quality Content > WordProof
The winning project in the Quality Content category comes from the Dutch company WordProof which has developed the WordProof Timestamp Ecosystem, a technology able to prove authenticity and to make information verifiable, which ultimately would be leading to more trust in internet content. With the timestamps, content owners can show that they did not tamper with their content, and the history of changes becomes verifiable for both humans and machines. It is proposed as a free browser plugin.
Fair Trade > PPP
PPP won the Traceability & Fair Trade track. Started by the UK social enterprise Project Provenance the project allows businesses to prove their social impact across the supply chains behind their business and products via Proof Points.
Financial Inclusion > GMeRitS
By the Finnish university, Aalto is the awarded startup in the Financial Inclusion category. The company is conducting wide-scale experiments with alternative economic structures, to try and evaluate various anti-rival compensation and governance structures, contributing to financial inclusion.
Philanthropy > UnBlocked Cash Project OXBBU
Pioneers in a decentralized model that addresses the global challenge of delivering international aid to disaster-affected people aiming to make the process more efficient. The project is the winner of the Aid & Philanthropy category and comes from the Irish branch of the charity organization Oxfam and French startup Sempo.
Circular Economy > CKH2020
Founded by the French cooperative Kleros, this is a platform for resolving consumer disputes in e-commerce or collaborative economy. Blockchain guarantees that no party can tamper with the evidence nor manipulate jury selection and that rulings are automatically enforced by smart contracts.
Energy > PROSUME
Prosume, which originates from Italy, is a DLT-based platform providing a decentralized and autonomous digital marketplace for peer-to-peer energy trading. Its goal is to integrate consumers who are also producers of renewable energy in the highly monopolized and fossils-based energy sector.