The new charter of logistics

Two innovation projects that are connected to each other synergistically and have one common goal: the Silicon Economy.

Silicon Economy Logistics Ecosystem

The Silicon Economy is a synonym for an upcoming digital infrastructure or digital ecosystem based on the automated negotiation, scheduling and control of the flow of goods, enabling new, digital business models for logistics (among others). This digital infrastructure enables comprehensive transparency in value added networks and creates trust along complete supply chains, from the supplier of raw materials to the end customer – which is maybe the most important prerequisite for getting all companies to participate.

Logo des BMVI

»Only if logistical processes continue in future to be well managed with the latest technologies, will it be possible to participate in the increasingly global economy and to maintain or create new jobs.«

Andreas Scheuer
Federal Minister of Transport and Digital Infrastructure

The Silicon Economy Logistics Ecosystem innovation project aims to develop a complete environment for this new Silicon Economy:

  • Developing a Silicon Economy infrastructure and basis modules
  • Developing a Silicon Economy infrastructure and basis modules

Numerous so-called development projects with companies make applications visible.

Key research objectives

  • Integration and networking of infrastructures, e.g. by using the International Data Spaces components to create secure data spaces together with the cloud infrastructures established in the »GAIA-X« project
  • Implementation of open and federal digital infrastructures and platforms
  • Real-time networking of things as a technological basis for new services and process models
  • Development of new services based on AI algorithms for the automation and autonomation of logistical processes and complete supply chains, e.g. solutions for digitally negotiated contracts (smart contracts); receipts and payment models for booking and invoicing logistics services (transport, handling, storage), platforms and digital environments for autonomous planning and scheduling processes

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST
  • TU Dortmund University with its Chairs of Material Handling and Warehousing, Enterprise Logistics and Supply Net Order Management

Project start: May 2020

Project period: 3 years

Volume: 25 million euros

Contact

Management

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael ten Hompel, Managing Director of Fraunhofer IML, michael.ten.hompel@iml.fraunhofer.de

Marketing and Communications

Ellen Sünkeler, Fraunhofer IML, ellen.suenkeler@iml.fraunhofer.de

Blockchain Europe

In logistics and supply chain management many economically independent partners work closely together. Transferring liability and risk, multilateral data exchange and trust issues are only some of the challenges here. As a key technology, blockchain has the potential to make data exchange tamper-proof and to automate and autonomize a large number of processes in the supply chain, e.g. the smart euro-pallet. Instead of consignment notes and lengthy, manual invoicing processes, goods can be invoiced in real-time by means of blockchain. With several hundred million euro-pallets and thousands of logistics service providers in the region, blockchain technology offers real added value.

In the Blockchain Europe innovation project, the European Blockchain Institute in Dortmund, NRW, is being established and a research program is being developed for the institute:

  • As an organization, the Blockchain Institute is to develop the technical and scientific foundations, methods and standards for a networked infrastructure in terms of the Silicon Economy.
  • The research program addresses central research requirements related to IT architecture (blockchain broker), open source solutions for software, hardware and business models.

Central research questions and results

  • Blockchain devices (blockchain-capable cyber-physical system (CPS), multi light nodes for IoT hardware and software)
  • Bookable crypto tokens and means of payment, e-Money, CashOnLedger and smart contracts including, for example, appropriate libraries and platforms
  • Specific use cases, e.g. for customs duties and hazardous goods
  • Development of new business models based on light node devices and tokens, e.g. pay-per-use approaches and identity management
  • Quantification of the economic benefit of blockchain solutions
  • Definition of standards, interfaces and rules for open cooperation
  • Virtualization of all essential processes within value added networks

Project partners

  • Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics IML
  • Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering ISST
  • TU Dortmund University with its Chairs of Material Handling and Warehousing and Enterprise Logistics

Project start: May 2020

Project period: 3 years

Volume: 7 million euros

Logo Digitale Wirtschaft

»We are facing a new stage in the digitalization of the economy. Technologies like blockchain, the Internet of Things or Artificial Intelligence change the economy fundamentally and open up completely new opportunities for companies.«

Prof. Dr. Andreas Pinkwart
Minister of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia

Download

Project flyer Blockchain Europe (in german)

Contact

Management

Prof. Dr. Michael Henke, Director of Fraunhofer IML, michael.henke@iml.fraunhofer.de

Marketing and Communications

Britta Scherer, Fraunhofer IML, britta.scherer@iml.fraunhofer.de

No development without application

In the development projects of the Silicon Economy, solutions and components for the future platform economy are developed on the basis of specific logistics use cases.

Together for the Silicon Economy

To establish a Silicon Economy, the Silicon Economy Logistics Ecosystem and Blockchain Europe research projects are working closely together with numerous initiatives and other projects, coordinating their content and integrating their work.