Blockchain & Smart Contracts

Whitepaper »Blockchain and Smart Contracts« published

Whitepaper Blockchain and Smart Contracts: Efficient and secure value creation networks
© Fraunhofer IML

Blockchain technology and Smart Contracts based on it offer considerable potential for optimizing business processes. The Purchasing & Finance department in Supply Chain Management researches and analyzes, among other things, current and future applications of these technologies. As part of the series »Future Challenges in Logistics and Supply Chain Management« of the Fraunhofer IML, the white paper »Blockchain and Smart Contracts: Efficient and Secure Value Networks«.

In order to make the various optimization possibilities tangible, the basics that are important for understanding this complex and still quite new technology are explained. Furthermore, different fields of application of blockchain and smart contracts, also outside the financial sector, are considered. The potential of a blockchain application for the optimization of internal and external company processes is demonstrated, especially against the background of increasingly interlocked value creation networks.


Position Paper »Blockchain and Smart Contracts« published

© Fraunhofer IML
Blockchain and Smart Contracts position paper
© Fraunhofer IML
Blockchain Demonstrator

The department for Procurement and Finance in Supply Chain Management researches and develops solutions at the interface of logistics and financial processes. Close cooperation with partners from industry and the financial sector ensures that research is always up to date. In this way, promising innovations can be investigated at an early stage.

Blockchain technology and its enormous disruptive potential for companies' business processes have developed a great momentum in 2017. With focus on the effects and applications of Blockchain and Smart Contracts in the supply chain area, the Blockchain demonstrator was developed. With the help of this tool, the functionality and application possibilities of the Blockchain could be explained to the audience in a playful way, e.g. at the Inclusive SCF Conference in Frankfurt and the 52nd Symposium on Purchasing and Logistics in Berlin.

In addition, Commerzbank is a strong partner for a more in-depth project. The Financial Supply Chain Management 4.0 project will jointly develop new business models in trade finance and examine the influence of the physical supply chain on the financial supply chain in 2025. The requirements identified in Design Thinking Workshops with Commerzbank customers will eventually culminate in the development of blockchain-based solutions.

At the end of the year, research in this area was included in Fraunhofer’s strategic position paper Blockchain and Smart Contracts. Together with other Fraunhofer institutes, scientific and application-oriented aspects of the Blockchain technology are investigated herein. In particular, it deals with possible applications and technical research questions.

Blockchain-based Supply Chain Network

The Situation:

  • A digitized and interconnected supply chain offers an enormous potential of increased efficiency based on automated, accelerated transaction processes
  • Blockchain and smart contracts can help companies attain more sleek and swift value chains by replacing intermediaries
  • Therefore, blockchain can achieve its full potential especially within value chains

Our Solution:

  • Identification of specific use cases for the development of smart contracts within your value-added network
  • Feasibility and cost-benefit assessments
  • Conception and software development for blockchain applications
  • Pilot projects for blockchain-based business processes

Your Benefit:

  • You will benefit directly from our expertise on physical and financial supply chains
  • Connection of current blockchain developments with Internet of Things technologies
  • You can overcome time and cost drawbacks within your value-added network, by removing intermediaries and third-party services
  • Instead of pursuing a hype, you and Fraunhofer develop effective applications for smart contracts on a scientifically sound foundation
  • You can strengthen your company's position for the future, by optimizing your processes today