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The European Blockchain Institute is currently being set up in Dortmund. Partners are the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML), the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST) as well as the Chair of Enterprise Logistics and the Chair of Materials Handling and Warehousing of TU Dortmund University. The regional government of North Rhine-Westphalia has granted funds of € 7.7 million for the new institute.
The digitalization of the economy is leading to new business models and more efficient work processes. Blockchain technology plays an important role here. To further advance its technical application especially in logistics, the European Blockchain Institute is being set up in Dortmund. On Tuesday, 5 May 2020, Professor Andreas Pinkwart, North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitalization and Energy, presented the grant agreement to Professor Michael ten Hompel and Professor Michael Henke.
“An important contribution beyond our region’s borders”
Minister Pinkwart said: “We find ourselves on the threshold of a new stage in the digitalization of the economy. Technologies such as blockchain, the internet of things or artificial intelligence are changing business and commerce radically and opening up completely new possibilities for enterprises. The European Blockchain Institute will give a significant boost especially to the logistics sector in North Rhine-Westphalia and also make an important contribution beyond our region’s borders.”
Blockchain technology facilitates safe, decentralized and transparent data storage. This allows enterprises to share data from peer to peer and to maintain their digital sovereignty at all times. The European Blockchain Institute’s mission is to explore the practical application of blockchain technology in logistics. The goal is to make a wide variety of application examples available for the entire sector in North Rhine-Westphalia via an open source platform.
An example for a blockchain application in logistics is the smart Euro pallet: In place of consignment notes in paper form and protracted, manual invoicing processes, goods can be invoiced in real time with the help of a blockchain. With several hundred million Euro pallets and thousands of logistics companies in the region, blockchain technology offers genuine added value.
The institute has an international focus and will have a team of 25 staff. This will further strengthen the region’s excellent ecosystem, which only recently won first place for the Digital Hub Logistics in the Champions Challenge of the European Digital Innovation Hubs.
With around € 6.8 million, the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) has been allocated most of the regional government’s funding. € 280,000 will go to the Fraunhofer Institute for Software and Systems Engineering (ISST), € 260,000 to the chair for enterprise logistics of TU Dortmund University and € 350,000 to its chair for materials handling and warehousing.
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Location & approach
The campus of TU Dortmund University is located close to interstate junction Dortmund West, where the Sauerlandlinie A 45 (Frankfurt-Dortmund) crosses the Ruhrschnellweg B 1 / A 40. The best interstate exit to take from A 45 is "Dortmund-Eichlinghofen" (closer to Campus Süd), and from B 1 / A 40 "Dortmund-Dorstfeld" (closer to Campus Nord). Signs for the university are located at both exits. Also, there is a new exit before you pass over the B 1-bridge leading into Dortmund.
To get from Campus Nord to Campus Süd by car, there is the connection via Vogelpothsweg/Baroper Straße. We recommend you leave your car on one of the parking lots at Campus Nord and use the H-Bahn (suspended monorail system), which conveniently connects the two campuses.
TU Dortmund University has its own train station ("Dortmund Universität"). From there, suburban trains (S-Bahn) leave for Dortmund main station ("Dortmund Hauptbahnhof") and Düsseldorf main station via the "Düsseldorf Airport Train Station" (take S-Bahn number 1, which leaves every 20 or 30 minutes). The university is easily reached from Bochum, Essen, Mülheim an der Ruhr and Duisburg.
You can also take the bus or subway train from Dortmund city to the university: From Dortmund main station, you can take any train bound for the Station "Stadtgarten", usually lines U41, U45, U 47 and U49. At "Stadtgarten" you switch trains and get on line U42 towards "Hombruch". Look out for the Station "An der Palmweide". From the bus stop just across the road, busses bound for TU Dortmund University leave every ten minutes (445, 447 and 462). Another option is to take the subway routes U41, U45, U47 and U49 from Dortmund main station to the stop "Dortmund Kampstraße". From there, take U43 or U44 to the stop "Dortmund Wittener Straße". Switch to bus line 447 and get off at "Dortmund Universität S".
Dortmund Airport offers flights to several destinations in Central Europe. There are regular connections to Katowice, Kraków, London and Munich. For the approximately 20km-trip from Dortmund Airport to TU Dortmund University, you can use a shuttle bus to the railway Station "Bahnhof Holzwickede", from which trains depart to Dortmund main station (please visit Verkehrsverbund Rhein-Ruhr for more information). Normally, the fastest way is to catch a taxi at Dortmund Airport.
The H-Bahn is one of the hallmarks of TU Dortmund University. There are two stations on Campus Nord. One ("Dortmund Universität S") is directly located at the suburban train stop, which connects the university directly with the city of Dortmund and the rest of the Ruhr Area. Also from this station, there are connections to the "Technologiepark" and (via Campus Süd) Eichlinghofen. The other station is located at the dining hall at Campus Nord and offers a direct connection to Campus Süd every five minutes.