We build collaboration labs for rapid prototyping and concept validation

In our labs, we work together with our collaborators to assess the role of blockchain and digitisation in solving industry-wide problems in the shipping and energy sectors. Often these problems are globally shared and too big to tackle alone. So for each lab, we build consortiums of companies and together we define, test and validate blockchain prototypes for future applications and assess the new business models created. The objective of our labs is to de-risk early stage technology development and ensure companies build relevant solutions to address their collective challenges.

Are you interested in establishing labs to collectively tackle major sectoral challenges in your industry?

maritime blockchain labs

Our first programme, Maritime Blockchain Labs (MBL), was funded by Lloyd’s Register Foundation with a mission to bridge the divides between industry and technology to create impactful and scalable solutions for the global maritime sector. We demonstrated this in three blockchain pilot project labs dedicated to designing, developing and testing solutions in close collaboration with the maritime industry. In these labs, we brought together 30 companies from across the industry to explore the feasibility of blockchain and its role in solving challenges within the area of the assurance and safety of engineered systems.
Pilot 1

Marine Fuels Assurance​ Pilot

Client: Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Deliverables: Developed and validated a prototype to demonstrate digital chain of custody of the quality of marine fuel from terminal to vessel.

The first lab brought together maritime industry partners to evaluate how blockchain technology could help to provide an efficient, tamper-resistant and auditable chain of custody on marine fuel quality. In this context, the lab aimed to provide vessel owners assurance before purchasing fuel for their ship.

In this lab, we set out to solve the problems of paper based processes, fuel contamination and the lack of availability of data on the quality of marine fuels. To do this, we developed a blockchain based digital bunker delivery note for the marine fuel supply chain to enter and review details of fuel transactions and transfers between terminals, bunker barges, and receiving vessels. This provided an overview of verified information on fuel specifications, fuel analysis, transfer documents and signatures to create the end-to-end digital chain of custody on the quality of marine fuels.

This prototype offered a means to help provide greater confidence in the purchase of marine fuel, ultimately resulting in reduced safety risk and creating a more trustworthy framework for accurately monitoring emissions from shipping and comply with global regulations such as the IMO 2020 Sulphur Cap.
Pilot 2

Crew Certificate Management Pilot

Client: Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Deliverables: A prototype blockchain-based certificate notarisation and exchange platform.

The second lab saw collaborative efforts by the maritime industry to evaluate how blockchain could improve the management, verification and validation of seafaring crew certificates. The lab aimed to create a non-jurisdictional bound, digital platform for all crew identity and training logging and certificate issuance, management and clearance processes.

We developed a prototype blockchain-based certificate notarisation and exchange platform that enabled training organisations, manning departments, vessel operators, e-certificate software providers, government agencies and other relevant vendors and stakeholders to share their attestation of various documents, ID’s, and training certificates. Signatures were collected on accreditations as per IMO, individual flag state and individual company requirements. The platform also ensured the safe sharing of seafarer information with industry stakeholders involved with the origination, authentication, transfer, or otherwise active management of crew certificates.

This prototype offered a means to ensure the safe and efficient operation of vessels, in compliance with global regulations such as the IMO’s International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) and the Convention on Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS).
Pilot 3

Misdeclaration of Dangerous Goods

Client: Lloyd’s Register Foundation

Deliverables: Web portal for blockchain verification of dangerous goods documentation.

The third lab built a consortium with the maritime industry to evaluate how blockchain could support the proper documentation and declaration of dangerous goods. In this context, the lab aimed to demonstrate the end-to-end delivery of a dangerous good and record all relevant declarations, approvals and receivals.

The prototype built was a blockchain supported data adapter for the standardisation of the inputs and outputs of data and an immutable and verified chain of custody. The purpose of this adapter is to generate an electronic Dangerous Goods Note at point of origin to reduce human errors relating to documentation. Importantly, it also verified the dangerous goods documentation and eradicated the need for multiple quality assurance checks and data extraction throughout the supply chain.

This prototype offered a means to improve the safe handling of dangerous goods and reduce incidents on vessels that risk seafarers’ lives, ship property, and damage to the marine environment. It therefore supports compliance with global regulations such as the IMO’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78).