Faculty of Computer Science involved in the world's largest Blockchain Competence Center

The COMET center (K1) Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) aims to bundle the know-how surrounding blockchain technology in one place and set new impulses. The University of Vienna is involved with the Faculty of Computer Science (Prof. Rinderle-Ma, Prof. Klas) and the Faculty of Law (Prof. Forgó, Prof. Wendehorst).

The Austrian Blockchain Center (ABC) has 21 scientific institutions, 54 companies and 17 associated contributors, including 16 international institutions or companies. The research areas of the center are manifold and range from Industry 4.0/Internet of Things to logistics, energy, and finance as well as to applications in administration and public areas. The goal of the ABC is therefore to promote scientific development in applications based on blockchain technologies.

Prof. Stefanie Rinderle-Ma and Prof. Wolfgang Klas from the Faculty of Computer Science of the University of Vienna explain the advantages of the ABC and the role of their faculty as follows: "The ABC creates a platform for cooperation with other disciplines and companies. The Faculty of Computer Science participates in the research of process-oriented blockchains as well as the storage, management and retrieval of content managed in such blockchains. In addition, the faculty will also contribute its work to the next generation of blockchain technology."

COMET Centers are designed to strengthen the cooperation between science and industry as well as to ensure that domestic companies can expand their technology leadership and create new jobs as a result. Accordingly, the Austrian Blockchain Center will work closely together with the existing COMET Centers CDP, SBA Research and other international blockchain initiatives.

The ABC will focus on the following five areas:

  • Cryptography, Technology & Security (Coordination: SBA Research)
  • Cryptoeconomic Modeling & Blockchain Applications for Business (Coordination: WU Vienna)
  • Emerging Industries & Blockchains in Manufacturing (Coordination: FH St. Pölten)
  • Data Science Methods for Blockchain Analytics & Predictions (Coordination: AIT and RIAT)
  • Legal and Political Implications (Coordination: WU Vienna)

As a result, questions regarding technical,economic, application-based, but also political as well as legal issues are raised in the interest of the Austrian Blockchain Center.

Prof. Stefanie Rinderle-Ma emphasizes the importance of such interdisciplinary approaches in relation to blockchain technology: "Blockchain is an interdisciplinary topic; It combines technical with economic and legal aspects. From our point of view, this interdisciplinary approach is essential for the successful and responsible use of blockchain technology in practice." Prof. Klas sees the University of Vienna in a particularly interesting role here, because the cooperation of various disciplines in-house on this topic is already being practiced: "We have already established the BlockchainSci-Lab at the Faculty of Computer Science, in which research groups work together , as well as collaborations with researchers from the Faculty of Economics as well as the Faculty of Law on Blockchain and Crypto Currency." The fields of application for the two computer scientists are banking and finance, industry 4.0, logistics. Developments based on smart contract technologies will open up completely new opportunities, but also challenges, especially in the area of legal application.

The COMET competence center program has been running since 2008. Since then, 17,000 publications have been published, 2,400 dissertations and 2,800 master theses have been carried out, and 900 patents have been licensed.

(Sources: WU Wien, FFG)