Blockchain-Lab

Research, application and teaching concerning blockchain

The Blockchain Lab

In Bayreuth, under the lead of Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach, we have been supporting companies and public institutions since our foundation in 2016 within the scope of applied research projects and the development of individual and needs-based solutions in the field of blockchain technology. Our activities in this regard at the FIM Research Center are closely integrated into the blockchain lab of Fraunhofer FIT.

Even though blockchain technology has become known through its first-time application as the basis of the crypto currency Bitcoin, it quickly became clear that the actual potential of the blockchain is much more far-reaching. Today, for example, in addition to business logics, represented by so-called Smart Contracts, digital and self-managed identities can also be implemented with the support of the blockchain. You can find a selection of our projects and solutions under Projects.

In 2016, we were one of the first organizations in Germany to publish a whitepaper in which we examined the fundamentals, possible applications and potentials of the blockchain technology and the role of intermediaries in various contexts. We have also received several awards for our work – including the Innovation Prize ‘Reallabore’ from the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and the eGovernment Prize for our project with the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Our offer for you:
Conception and development of individual and demand-oriented solutions

– as neutral scientific consulting for blockchain projects
– in one or more day (Ideation) workshops
– in applied research projects (from potential analysis to prototyping)
– in industry-wide and cross-industry consortia

You can find further information here.

Blockchain Basics

In the area “Blockchain Basics”, we deal in particular with the basic technological and economic classification of various distributed ledger technologies and their possible applications. In addition to the basics and possible applications of the technology, we also investigate the contexts in which the use of blockchain can offer real added value. Learn more …

Blockchain and eGovernment

The use of blockchain in the public sector, especially in federal structures, is considered one of the major future fields of technology. Especially in the cooperation of public institutions in local, state and federal government, it is important to combine strict data privacy requirements and documentation security.  Our work within the scope of public projects has already received several awards, including the Innovation Prize ‘Reallabore’ of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy and the eGovernment competition. Learn more …

Blockchain in Mobility and Logistics

The possible uses of blockchain in the context of mobility (transition) have been much discussed since the first business logics could be mapped to distributed ledgers. Today, exemplary applications can be found in the context of international trade of goods (freight documents), eMobility (electric charging), Sharing Economy (ridesharing) as well as in the more efficient transport of goods (platooning). With the publication of the Blockchain Report “Opportunities and Challenges of DLT (Blockchain) in Mobility and Logistics” we have already been able to set standards in this area. Learn more …

Self-Sovereign Identities and Digital Identities

So-called ‘Self-Sovereign Identities’ are considered to be self-managed identities which are not provided as usual by a central institution or platform. They can be implemented in combination with blockchain or without it. Thus they offer the possibility to make certain freedoms of personal identity usable in the digital world. By using so-called ‘zero knowledge proofs’, users also have the opportunity to prove certain characteristics without disclosing sensitive information. Learn more …

Blockchain and Data Privacy

In the implementation of blockchain in the private as well as the public sector, the issue of data privacy has played a special role not only since the adoption of the European General Data Protection Regulation: in view of the documentation security and transparency inherent in blockchain, it must be designed in such a way that personal data remain protected. We were able to apply our expertise in this context in a project with Federal Office for Migration and Refugees.

Blockchain and Performance-Benchmarking

Due to the intensive use of cryptographic methods as well as the communication effort for the consensus mechanism, the performance (transactions per second, latency, etc.) of blockchains is generally lower than that of central systems. Due to the redundant execution of all calculations, the limiting factor is always the slowest node in the network. Accordingly, the performance of blockchains is difficult to scale elastically as needed. To address this, we have developed a generic block chain benchmarking framework and have tested Corda, private Ethereum networks, Hyperledger Fabric/Indy/Sawtooth and Quorum as well as EOS and Tezos.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence

In the area ‘Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence’ we combine our blockchain competencies with expertise from the field of artificial intelligence and machine learning. In this way, we research and communicate current findings in the areas of data privacy and monetization or the strengthening of traceability and trust in the decisions of artificial intelligence. Further information on the topic of Artificial Intelligence at FIM Research Center can be found here. Learn more …

Curious?

Our activities

The Research Center FIM deals with relevant real-world problems both in publicly funded research projects and in applied research projects with partners in industry. Together with our partners, we develop unique and novel solutions based on our insights into the current state of research, our practical experience and the interdisciplinary and enthusiastic nature of our team. Selected projects are:

  • InDEED (2020 – 2023):
    Design, implementation and evaluation of an energy industry data platform based on a blockchain for the use cases “labeling” and “asset logging“ (funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi))

  • OMOS (since 2019):
    Open Mobility System (in cooperation with regioIT, funded by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and mFUND)
    Project’s objective: Development of a digital mobility infrastructure (more details)
  • Blockchain for notarial powers of attorney and certificates of inheritance (2019):
    A blockchain-based digital validity register for notarial powers of attorney and certificates of inheritance (in cooperation with the Federal Chamber of Notaries and the Bavarian State Ministry of Justice (StMJ)) (more details)
  • Opportunities and challenges of the DLT (Blockchain) in mobility and logistics (2019):
    Report commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI)
  • Data privacy-compliant blockchain solution in the German asylum process (2018):
    (funded by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF))

    (more details)

  • Blockchain for International Trade Finance (2016 – 2017):
    A cooperation project with Norddeutsche Landesbank for the development and evaluation of a blockchain prototype for documentary credits (more details)

Studies

The following studies, whitepapers and books were developed on the basis of research work and in cooperation with partners in industry:

Blockchain: Basics, applications and potentials

Development of a data privacy-compliant blockchain solution in the German refugee process

Opportunities and challenges of DLT (blockchain) in mobility and logistics

The blockchain-based validity register

Feasibility study of an open and dencentralized mobility system (OMOS)

Scientific publications

In this area of expertise, we have published the following research papers in academic journals and at international conferences:

Improving Inter-Organizational Information Sharing for Vendor Managed Inventory : Towards a Decentralized Information Hub Using Blockchain Technology
in: IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 2020
Guggenberger, Tobias
Schweizer, André
Urbach, Nils
Damals wie heute? : Ein Rückblick der Risiken und Potenziale der Blockchain-Technologie
in: it-daily, 2020
Guggenberger, Tobias
Lockl, Jannik
Schlatt, Vincent
Urbach, Nils
Überprüfung der Machbarkeit eines offenen und dezentralen Mobilitätssystems (OMOS)
2019
Fridgen, Gilbert
Röhlen, Jörg
Guggenberger, Tobias
Schlatt, Vincent
Schulze, Martin
Opportunities and Challenges of DLT (Blockchain) in Mobility and Logistics

Fridgen, Gilbert
Guggenberger, Nikolas
Hoeren, Thomas
Prinz, Wolfgang
Urbach, Nils
Baur, Johannes
Brockmeyer, Henning
Gräther, Wolfgang
Rabovskaja, Elisaweta
Schlatt, Vincent
Schweizer, André
Sedlmeir, Johannes
Wederhake, Lars
Chancen und Herausforderungen von DLT (Blockchain) in Mobilität und Logistik
Berlin, 2019
Fridgen, Gilbert
Guggenberger, Nikolas
Hoeren, Thomas
Prinz, Wolfgang
Urbach, Nils
Baur, Johannes
Brockmeyer, Henning
Gräther, Wolfgang
Rabovskaja, Elisaweta
Schlatt, Vincent
Schweizer, André
Sedlmeir, Johannes
Wederhake, Lars
Cross-Organizational Workflow Management Using Blockchain Technology : Towards Applicability, Auditability, and Automation
presented at: 51st Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), Waikoloa, USA, 2018
Fridgen, Gilbert
Radszuwill, Sven
Urbach, Nils
Utz, Lena
Unchaining Social Businesses : Blockchain as the Basic Technology of a Crowdlending Platform
presented at: 38th International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS), Seoul, South Korea, 2017
Schweizer, André
Schlatt, Vincent
Urbach, Nils
Fridgen, Gilbert
Blockchain Lab : Design, Implementation and Evaluation of Innovative Business and Process Models
in: ERCIM News, 2017
Fridgen, Gilbert
Prinz, Wolfgang
Rose, Thomas
Urbach, Nils
Implementation of a Blockchain Workflow Management Prototype
in: ERCIM News, 2017
Fridgen, Gilbert
Sablowsky, Bernd
Urbach, Nils
Entwicklung Disruptiver Innovationen mit Blockchain : Der Weg zum Richtigen Anwendungsfall
in: Wirtschaftsinformatik & Management, 2017
Fridgen, Gilbert
Radszuwill, Sven
Schweizer, André
Urbach, Nils

In addition to its project activities, the Research Center FIM is committed to promoting the exchange of knowledge with colleagues from research and practice. Selected activities are:

  • Bundestag Committee ‘Digital Agenda’: Statement on parliamentery questions on the topic ‘Blockchain’ in the Bundestag Committee for the Digital Agenda
  • Innovation Prize ‘Reallabore’ of the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi)
  • eGovernment-Prize of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees

University of Augsburg

  • There are currently no courses on this subject taking place in Augsburg.

Further information can be found under Education in Augsburg.

University of Bayreuth

  • Interdisciplinary Seminar Blockchain (Seminar, Bachelor)
  • Emerging Digital Technologies (Seminar, Master)

Further information can be found here.

Contact person

Prof. Dr. Nils Urbach

Professorship for Business Informatics and Strategic IT Management