27 Apr 2021

On their ONTOCHAIN journey, LCDP-ONT-APP project will contribute to a formal definition for ONTOCHAIN applications/components, as well as making their development more accessible and less costly. We had a chat with Fabiano Izzo, member of this team, to find out more details about their involvement in ONTOCHAIN.


Fabiano Izzo


Could you please introduce yourself?

I am Fabiano Izzo, a passionate IT professional with extended experience in enterprise software development. I am the CEO and Co-founder of Smart Shaped, an innovative startup active in the fields of software modeling (low-code) and blockchain solutions, offering an easy-to-use platform for network and smart contract design and deployment. Together with D-Visor, an applied R&D security tech SME experienced in IT ontologies and AI, we decided to join this challenging experience.


How did you hear about ONTOCHAIN?

As an innovative startup, we are constantly interested in opportunities to further research (and practice) in our fields of expertise, especially so when in concert with NGI initiatives. Thus, we found ONTOCHAIN through organic search.


What motivated you to apply?

The first reason is that both Smart Shaped and D-Visor are deeply committed to research on topics close to the objectives promoted by ONTOCHAIN. More specifically, D-Visor has expertise on ontologies and secure information exchanges, while Smart Shaped, through the low-code development platform AstraKode Blockchain, is currently focused on research on how to apply model driven approaches to blockchain development. Furthermore, the possibility to obtain a funding that would allow us to keep on further research and the opportunity for cross contamination of ideas and to collaborate with other brilliant teams in an innovative and exciting ecosystem, played a key role in our motivation. 


How was the application process?

It was challenging but it allowed us to put pen to paper what we had already in mind. 


Can you briefly explain your project and its contribution to the ONTOCHAIN software ecosystem?

Our project is focused on the research and development of (1) a meta-language for ONTOCHAIN application components, together with (2) the synthesis of meta-ontological bases---a reasoning tool and blockchain-oriented domain-specific ontology editor---for ONTOCHAIN components smart, trusted, and brokered interoperability. In simpler words, this would translate into a web-based visual IDE to assist development of ONTOCHAIN applications. The tool would be provided as a standalone product through the AstraKode Blockchain platform and would contribute to speed and ease the design and development of the ecosystem's applications. Its all-in-one nature would allow users and providers to design, develop, and deploy a production-grade solution within one platform while its low code approach would foster the ease of use and self-documented and validated projects.


The ONTOCHAIN project is based on a co-development process, how can you benefit from an experience like this? And what type of synergies are you eager to explore with the other selected teams?

On the one hand, the collaboration and co-creation process with other teams would definitely contribute to enhance the project’s outcome quality and to foster tangible and intangible knowledge exchange. On the other, these externalities and exchanged knowledge would bring an important added value to the participants, that goes beyond the success of ONTOCHAIN project. In this sense we are eager to explore synergies not only within the project perimeter, but also in a business and research prospective, looking for longer term collaborations.


What are your expectations regarding the new software ecosystem that ONTOCHAIN will deliver, its contribution to the NGI priority areas, and benefits for end users?

We expect the software ecosystem to serve as a catalyst for stakeholders, in order to improve the implemented use cases on trusted information exchange and data semantics. In parallel, we also expect it to act as an innovation hub to provide adequate infrastructure to potential contributors and users. On the user side we wish the ecosystem to be easily accessible, and to act as a disseminator of safer and more trusted services; on the provider side, we expect more developing tools, interoperability and monetization opportunities.  We believe the ONTOCHAIN’s goal of building a trusted information exchange and data semantics ecosystem, together with its focus on blockchain technology, would contribute to several NGI priority areas, namely decentralisation and trust, security and resilience, and Inclusion.