2018-11-29 ABC Bild Institut

World's Largest Blockchain Competence Center approved in Vienna

The Federal Governement has granted 26Mio Euros of public funding to consolidate Austria as a site of competence and research. Three new centres of escellence in the fields of production technology, life sciences and ICT are to be established, one - the Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) - in cooperation with the Security and Privacy Lab of the Department of Computer Science.

Austria started developing blockchain expertise at a very early stage. The COMET Center (K1) Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) aims to bundle comprehensive, interdisciplinary competencies in basic and applied blockchain technologies in one place. The ABC involves 21 scientific institutions, 54 companies, and 17 associated participants, including 16 international institutions/companies. Professor Rainer Böhme and his research group Security and Privacy Lab are the only project partners from Tyrol.

The center’s research focuses include Industry 4.0/Internet of Things, the financial, energy, and logistics sectors, and applications in the public sector and in administration. The aim of the ABC is the scientifically founded (further) development of applications based on blockchain technologies. The Austrian Blockchain Center will work closely with the existing COMET centers CDP and SBA Research, and with international blockchain initiatives.

"The center is a great opportunity for Austria to stay in touch with the high-tech giants in the USA and Asia in this promising field. The support of so-called 'hidden champions' (i.e. owner-managed world market leaders hardly known to the public) is important to us," says Alfred Taudes, academic director and coordinator of the center. The establishment of the COMET Center will significantly strengthen the already ongoing development of blockchain-based applications and business models and, as a key to the creation of new jobs, will contribute to establishing Austria as one of the most innovative countries in Europe.

The center's diverse research and development topics, dealing with economic, technological, application-related, and political and legal issues, will be grouped into five areas: (1) Cryptography, Technology & Security (coordination SBA Research); (2) Cryptoeconomic Modelling & Blockchain Applications for Business (coordination WU Vienna); (3) Emerging Industries & Blockchains in Manufacturing (coordination FH St. Pölten); (4) Data Science Methods for Blockchain Analytics & Predictions (coordination AIT und RIAT); (5) Legal and Political Implications (coordination WU Vienna).

Area 4 "Data Science Methods for Blockchain Analytics & Prediction"

The research group of Professor Böhme will be a leading member of Area 4, whose goal is 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 focus and involve data scientists, practitioners from the startup community, as well as scientists with various backgrounds within and outside the ABC initiative.

COMET Centers (K1)

The COMET Centers (K1), coordinated by the FFG, are intended to support and promote the development and focusing of competencies. They are funded by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology, the Federal Ministry for Digital and Economic Affairs, the participating provinces (in case of the ABC Vienna, Lower Austria and Vorarlberg) as well as partners from economy and science.

K1 centers conduct research at a high international level, provide new research impulses, and contribute to innovation, especially with regard to future-relevant markets.


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