The Partnership for Economic Innovation, a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities, launched the Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center (AZ BARC) to leverage emerging blockchain research to create usable products for the global marketplace. Companies that have a presence in Arizona can sign on as Members of AZ BARC to gain exclusive first access to any research findings, and PEI has announced that its initial group of Members includes Intel, Kudelski Security, Early Warning Services, BD and Movemedical.
“Industries from banking to medicine to government are realizing the benefits of blockchain technology and are searching for ways to integrate it into their business models,” said Kathleen Lee, Director of Applied Research at Partnership for Economic Innovation. “The Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center takes an industry-led approach to conduct research, develop products and grow Arizona’s technical workforce. We’re thrilled to have such a robust group of influential companies lead AZ BARC to stay ahead of emerging blockchain research and position Arizona as leader in innovation and technology.”
“Blockchain is a very promising technology for many industries, so we jumped at the chance to be involved with AZ BARC. We are always looking to innovate within Kudelski and having the ability to apply practical use cases to blockchain in industry should lead to more secure products or security offerings,” said Scott Carlson, Director, Global Architecture and Head of Digital Assets and Blockchain, Kudelski Security, a Member company of AZ BARC. “The ability to partner with leading blockchain researchers through AZ BARC increases our knowledge base and will improve the overall confidence in blockchain solutions to cyber, threats, and data-protection.”
Blockchain technology’s business benefits include consumer engagement, greater transparency, enhanced security, increased efficiency and improved traceability of data. AZ BARC aims to build solutions to complex digital security challenges its Members face. AZ BARC’s inaugural projects include:
- Medical Device Inventory Management, a collaboration with BD, uses a blockchain-based platform for secure data sharing, provenance, and tracking of devices for better supply chain management.
- Multi-Signal Device ID Management addresses the accuracy, scalability and privacy-compliancy to establish the integrity and security in device/IoT management.
- Zero Knowledge Proof focuses on ways to validate a voter’s identity without the need of providing sensitive information.
“Having worked on blockchain research in the university setting at Arizona State University for several years now, it is exciting to see AZ BARC establish its unique approach of collaborating with industry to translate fundamental research into market solutions,” said Dragan Boscovic, Research Director at AZ BARC. “We look forward to continuing to advance and add to our portfolio of blockchain research projects.”
“AZ BARC is doing exactly what state leaders have hoped for with our recent action to position Arizona at the epicenter of developing innovative technologies,” said Jeff Weninger, State Representative in the Arizona House of Representatives who has previously sponsored blockchain and cryptocurrency legislation. “In 2018 we passed Arizona’s ‘Regulatory FinTech Sandbox’ which made our state the first in the U.S. to grant regulatory relief for its innovators as they bring new products to market, and we also recently appropriated funds for advancing this kind of blockchain research. I know we all look forward to seeing the results of AZ BARC’s research initiatives and how they can be implemented to improve our livelihoods.”
The AZ BARC follows a consortium model as its research is led by industry needs. AZ BARC is a public-private partnership funded by Member companies, the Partnership for Economic Innovation and grants made available from the Arizona Legislature through the Arizona Commerce Authority. Member companies provide annual funding through Membership fees that are determined each year.