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Blockchain tool aims to tackle supply chain failures exposed by Covid-19

The toolkit launched by the World Economic Forum aims to bring more transparency, trust and resilience to supply chains by offering a "shared truth".

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WEF hopes the toolkit will also help in longer term pandemic preparedness
WEF hopes the toolkit will also help in longer term pandemic preparedness

The World Economic Forum (WEF) is launching a blockchain-based tool to tackle supply chain issues exposed by the Covid-19 outbreak and accelerate an economic recovery led by private-public cooperation.

 

WEF states that resilience in supply chains depends on trust, transparency and integrity, which can be improved through the responsible deployment of blockchain technologies that offer a "shared truth".

 

The current pandemic underscores the need for businesses and governments to improve the integrity and provenance of pharmaceutical products and medical supplies, as well as food, goods and industrial and consumer products.

 

Cross-industry collaboration

 

Redesigning Trust: Blockchain Deployment Toolkit is the culmination of more than a year of efforts to capture best practices from blockchain deployment across industries.

 

It draws on global expertise from more than 100 organisations, including governments, companies, start-ups, academic institutions, civil society, international organisations and technology and supply chain experts. The toolkit sets out to help companies manage the complexities of deploying this new technology and will accelerate its positive impact.

 

“There are many lessons to learn from the current pandemic and this toolkit is a starting point for improving long-term pandemic preparedness and accelerating an economic recovery led by public-private cooperation,” said Nadia Hewett, blockchain and digital currency project lead, World Economic Forum USA.

 

The toolkit has been piloted in a variety of different contexts by organisations developing blockchain solutions within their supply chains, including the Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Hitachi, Saudi Aramco as well as a number of SMEs.

Professional services company Deloitte intends to leverage the toolkit across its blockchain practice of some 2,000 professionals to guide clients across sectors and industries in developing robust blockchain networks in supply chain and finance.

“There are many lessons to learn from the current pandemic and this toolkit is a starting point for improving long-term pandemic preparedness and accelerating an economic recovery led by public-private cooperation.”

“The Blockchain Deployment Toolkit sets a new benchmark for a comprehensive guidebook to design blockchain-enabled solutions,” said Linda Pawczuk, global blockchain and digital assets leader, Deloitte Global.

 

She continued: “At a time when the technology is nascent and evolving, it helps accelerate alignment and understanding of the many considerations that both the public and private sectors face to deploy solutions responsibly.

 

“Further, Deloitte plans to integrate the toolkit frameworks into learning curriculums to drive a consistent approach in developing blockchain business models that account not only for strategy and product, but also for often-overlooked issues around enterprise risk, tax implications, and financial compliance.”

 

Potential for ports

 

Quah Ley Hoon, chief executive, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said with a continued acceleration of digitalisation in Maritime Singapore, blockchain has tremendous potential applicability in areas such as bills of lading, cargo-tracking and trade financing.

 

Hoon added: “Maritime Singapore has piloted blockchain technology in electronic bills of lading used by shippers and shipping lines, and the ship registration process between class societies and ship owners.

 

“The Singapore Government will continue work with industry partners to push forward on this front. The Blockchain Deployment toolkit’s global best practices will be helpful for the Maritime Digitalisation Playbook that we are launching soon for our shipping companies.”

“At a time when the technology is nascent and evolving, it helps accelerate alignment and understanding of the many considerations that both the public and private sectors face to deploy solutions responsibly.”

The toolkit was created by the World Economic Forum with the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network Fellows from Hitachi, Deloitte and Saudi Aramco.

 

Among the many others who contributed to its development in more than 50 countries were the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution UAE, the Port of Los Angeles, Latham & Watkins, Cardiff Business School, University of Berkeley, Tech Mahindra, Maersk Angola, World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, and the World Food Programme.

 

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