Austria started developing blockchain expertise at a very early stage. The COMET (Competence Centers for Excellence Technologies) and Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) aims to bundle comprehensive, interdisciplinary competencies in basic and applied blockchain technologies in one place. The ABC involves 21 scientific institutions, 54 companies, and 17 associated participants, including 16 international institutions/companies.
The aim of the ABC is the scientifically founded and further development of applications based on blockchain technologies. Many blockchain-based applications and business models have already been developed with the cooperation of established stakeholders, innovative start-ups, and leading research and development institutions.
ABC will work closely with the existing COMET centers CDP and SBA Research, and with international blockchain initiatives, grouped into five areas: cryptography, technology and security; cryptoeconomic modelling and blockchain applications for business; emerging industries and blockchains in manufacturing; data science methods for blockchain analytics and predictions; and legal and political implications and will deal with economic, technological, application-related, and political and legal issues. The improvement of customer identification and the related compliance of banks and insurance companies is just one example.
“An interdisciplinary approach is necessary for comprehensive research into and use of blockchain technology, which is why ABC partners from many different disciplines work together. The center is a great opportunity for Austria to stay in touch with the high-tech giants in the USA and Asia in this promising field. The support of so-called ‘hidden champions’ (i.e. owner-managed world market leaders hardly known to the public) is important to us,” says Alfred Taudes, academic director and coordinator of the center, who also heads the Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics at WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.