On October 5th, members of the BlockStand consortium led a panel during the EU Industry Days – Europe’s annual flagship event focusing on key industrial policy discussions.

Justina Bieliauskaite (Innovation Director at the European DIGITAL SME Alliance and project coordinator for BlockStand) and Alexander Chourreau (Tech Policy Officer at the European DIGITAL SME Alliance) were joined by Petko Karamotchev, entrepreneur and blockchain standardisation expert (ISO/TC 307), and Emilia Tantar, artificial intelligence standardisation expert (ISO/IEC JTC1/SC42 & CEN-CENELEC JTC21). The panel tackled the issue of better ICT standards uptake by European industry (and in particular small and medium enterprises) in support of European strategic autonomy, through different expert insights and use cases.

Blockchain standardisation was particularly delved into. A use case on smart legal contracts was notably presented to the audience. These contracts present a number of assets, such as increased transparency and trust, reduction in disputes and enhanced enforcement, and a seamless integration with blockchain infrastructure. While there are still some hurdles to smart contract implementation (legal recognition across different jurisdictions, lack of technical expertise, etc.), collaborative efforts are being undertaken to address them across the European Union.

The BlockStand project is one of such efforts, addressing wider blockchain standardisation needs. An overview of the project was provided during the panel discussion, notably highlighting the project’s Experts’ Selection Process. The discussion further centred around BlockStand’s contribution to international standardisation. By supporting expert participation in international Standards Developing Organisations, and aligning the experts’ technical work with EU policy priorities via the project’s Technical Coordination Board, BlockStand enhances European strategic autonomy in the blockchain realm. Decisions taken in the various Technical Committees and Working Groups of ISO/TC 307 on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies, with their different focuses on use cases, interoperability, cybersecurity of blockchain solutions and many others, have a direct impact on the European industry downstream as a whole. Practical examples were provided to highlight the importance of being active in international blockchain standardisation to the attending audience – which ensued in different interactive exchanges.

The BlockStand consortium will build on the different insights gathered during the panel discussion, and looks forward to engaging further with external stakeholders in the upcoming steps of the project’s course.