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USE OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IN LOGISTICS

Dort­mund Home to New European Blockchain Institute

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Three smiling men in suits standing next to each other © MWIDE NRW
On Tuesday, 5 May 2020, Professor Andreas Pinkwart (m.), North Rhine-Westphalia’s Minister for Economic Affairs, In­no­va­ti­on, Digitalization and Energy, presented the grant agreement to Professor Michael ten Hompel (r.) and Professor Michael Henke.

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.

International focus

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".

The AirportExpress is a fast and convenient means of transport from Dort­mund Airport (DTM) to Dort­mund Central Station, taking you there in little more than 20 minutes. From Dort­mund Central Station, you can continue to the uni­ver­si­ty campus by interurban railway (S-Bahn). A larger range of in­ter­na­tio­nal flight connections is offered at Düsseldorf Airport (DUS), which is about 60 kilometres away and can be directly reached by S-Bahn from the uni­ver­si­ty station.

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.

The facilities of TU Dort­mund University are spread over two campuses, the larger Campus North and the smaller Campus South. Additionally, some areas of the uni­ver­si­ty are located in the adjacent "Technologiepark".

Site Map of TU Dort­mund University (Second Page in English)