28 Jun 2022

An interesting Round Table Discussion opened the 1st ONTOCHAIN Summit, organised on June 1-2 in Berlin by the ONTOCHAIN project, a software ecosystem for trusted, traceable and transparent ontological knowledge funded by the European Commission.




The presentation of Mr. Rapolas Lakavičius, EU Policy Officer, was focused on policy demonstrations and blockchain standardisation. There already exist several working directions at EU-level focusing on Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) and blockchain regulation. These include harmonisation with GDPR, regulation of cryptocurrency markets in crypto assets, electronic identification frameworks (eIDAS), trust services, and the Data Act, which includes the introductions of measures for a fair and innovative data economy. As an example of regulatory alignment with GDPR in a very safe way, is not to save any private data on blockchains. In terms of identity management and GDPR compliance, there is a focus on the evolution of redactable blockchains to enable the right to be forgotten. One more focus of activities is on the technical assessment of Smart Contracts and blockchain-based applications with possible evolution of certification schemes.

The lively discussion among Mr. Rapolas Lakavičius, Mr. Ioannis Vlachos, EU Blockchain Observatory & Forum, Mr. Ignacio Alamillo-Domingo, Astrea La Infopista Jurídica, and Mr. António Damasceno, NGI TruBlo focused on the following main topics. There have been activities promoting DLT/blockchain activities across the EU Member States particularly targeting start-ups. ONTOCHAIN is one such Next Generation Internet project. An important problem that was exposed is the energy inefficiency of existing consensus protocols, such as the Proof of Work, and the growing calls to introduce regulation in this respect. During the discussions we heard that there exist several European SMEs that work towards Digital Identity solutions for electronic services. The development of a Decentralised Digital Identity is one such approach. There was mutual agreement that a new regulation is needed to make trustless machines trustworthy.

The ONTOCHAIN Software ecosystem was described in detail at the event by the ONTOCHAIN core technical team composed by Anthony Simonet-Boulogne, Research Scientist at iExec Blockchain Tech; Vlado Stankovski, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Ljubljana, Thanasis Papaioannou, Principal Investigator and Visiting Professor at the Athens University of Economics and Business and Alberto Ciaramella, founder and CEO of IntelliSemantic. Prof. Stankovski presented the overall ONTOCHAIN goals, Dr. Simonet-Boulogne ONTOCHAIN software architecture, Prof. Papaioannou outlined the overall business model and the business viability of the ONTOCHAIN software framework, and Mr. Ciaramella named interesting vertical domains and particular application scenarios enabled by ONTOCHAIN.

While the 3rd Open Call (OC3) for projects was launched by ONTOCHAIN in mid May 2022, this event gave participants the opportunity to attend an extensive presentation about the aim of OC3 and the characteristics of this final Open Call, helping Web3 Innovators to submit a successful application and get access to grants up to 119.5 k € (equity-free), coaching as well as access to cutting-edge infrastructure and visibility.

Furthermore, as part of the event, Web3 innovators were also given the floor to briefly present their application ideas, sharing with the participants of the Summit innovative ideas for future projects that could become part of the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem.
The second day of the event was mainly dedicated to showcasing the progress made in ONTOCHAIN. 10 projects funded by ONTOCHAIN took the floor presenting their concepts, labelled as Success Stories of ONTOCHAIN. The Q&A session provided the platform for Innovators to interact and exchange productive ideas with the in-person audience, as well as the remote participants.

The 1st ONTOCHAIN Summit which was held at Go!NFT, the world's first urban NFT museum in Berlin, was able to bring together members of the growing ONTOCHAIN community from OC1 and OC2, as well as Innovators interested in the fields of Blockchain, Semantic Web, Ontology Engineering, Software Engineering, Cloud, Edge and Fog Computing, Ecosystem Economy, Smart Applications, Cryptography, Standardisation. This dynamic created, raises expectations to act as an incubator for challenging new applications which will be able to secure a future trustworthy Internet for all citizens of Europe and even across the world.

The presentations and the recordings of 1st ONTOCHAIN Summit are available for interested parties to watch online and prepare for OC3 at https://ontochain.ngi.eu/ontochain-summit.

More information about the ONTOCHAIN Project and 3rd Open Call (deadline at 25th July 2022) are available at https://ontochain.ngi.eu/apply.