As the winner of the Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia 2020, Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael ten Hompel today presented a blockchain-capable IoT device for monitoring temperature-sensitive goods along global supply chains – a new module for the Silicon Economy.

With the device – still a prototype – real-time data capture and the real-time autonomous control of supply chains can become reality. It is the first development of a device by the European Blockchain Institute (»Blockchain Europe«), together with »Silicon Economy Logistics Ecosystem«, one of the most important innovation projects for the Silicon Economy. It is part of a series of blockchain-based developments made in NRW. Goods that can be transported with the box include, for example, food, medicine, and vaccines.

»We are pursuing the changeover from the Internet of Things to the Internet of Values«, said Prof. Michael ten Hompel, Managing Director of Fraunhofer IML, during the award ceremony. »By means of blockchain technology, not only data but also real values will soon be negotiated and booked in a legal and process-reliable manner. In the near future, the following will not only apply to logistics: no blockchain – no business«. In the evening, Andreas Pinkwart, Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, presented ten Hompelwith an honorary award – the Innovation Prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia 2020 .

The »blockchain device« is a completely new development, from the computer hardware and the software for the temperature sensor to the blockchain client itself. Only 9 mm high, it can be inserted into a standard container like a plug-in card. It has 5G-compatible communication, a high-resolution ePaper display (1440 x 1072 pixels) and a number of sensors (temperature, acceleration, position). The battery life is more than 14 days in continuous operation and more than two years in low-power operation. The secure integration of physical and monetary-relevant processes into a blockchain-based ecosystem guarantees horizontal and vertical networking. Position and sensor data document a thorough monitoring of the supply chain including the conditions that have to be met. Moreover, the device is »IDS-ready«, i.e. prepared for implementation in the International Data Space.