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OriginTrail Advisor interview: Srdjan Krčo, PhD, IoT Advisor

Srdjan Krčo, PhD is a Co-founder and CEO of DunavNET, Founding member of IoT Forum and Coordinator of H2020 TagItSmart project. He has worked as a senior researcher and innovation consultant for Ericsson for 14 years, obtained several awards for his work (Innovation Engineer of the Year 2007 in Ireland, Inventor of the Year 2006 in Ericsson Ireland, Inventor of the Year 2007 in Ericsson Ireland). He gave us an interview focusing on what got him excited about OriginTrail and where he sees opportunities for its growth in IoT industry.

Can you briefly introduce yourself?

I have been working in the Internet of Things domain for more than 10 years. Early on, it was called differently, but the goal was the same — to connect the physical and the digital worlds. We went from defining early architectures to piloting various solutions in the cities to modern, cloud-based IoT solutions enabling the drive towards smartness across a number of domains: cities, factories, agriculture, transport, environment, etc. Over the last two years, in addition to creating solutions for more efficient agricultural operations, I am managing project TagItSmart funded under the H2020 programme of the European Commission, focused on the design of printable smart tags serving as the basis for the creation of smart packaging.

How did you get to know the project and what caught your attention?

I met Branimir, Tomaž and Žiga a few years ago, when they got funded by the FIWARE program. My company had already been using FIWARE technology for a while, so we provided some support and guidance to the guys in the technology domain. Since then, we met a few times to have some nice food and discuss various business topics, including leveraging IoT in the supply chain. Collaboration in this domain was of particular interest as it was a nice complement to the activities of my company in the agriculture and the food supply chain.

What convinced you to join the project’s advisory board and contribute with your expertise?

Joining the advisory board seemed to me like a natural step, following the previous engagement and a very good relationship established. Further to that, being aware that the integration of the blockchain and IoT technologies has great potential, this seemed like an excellent opportunity to do something in this regard with a group of people who has not only excellent competence in blockchain, but also a great business drive. The success of TRAC can also significantly contribute to the development of IoT solutions my company is working on, so joining the team really sounded like a win-win proposal.

What is the main benefit and long-term potential that you see in OriginTrail?

Food safety, traceability and transparency in the food supply chain represent very important topics that are increasingly being addressed by both enterprises and consumers. This can be further enhanced by information from various sensors used in the supply chain, including those attached to or printed onto the food packaging. With such a rich set of information which cannot be altered, we can create efficient food supply chain, from the point of production to the recycling bin, preventing not only the misuse of food declarations and transport conditions, but also food scares as well as protecting quality food production and extending shelf life of the food, thus contributing to the reduction of waste and thus sustainable development.

What use case of OriginTrail’s solution are you most excited to see realized soon?

In the context of TagItSmart project, together with consortium partners, we are developing smart tags that are printed on the packaging of individual items to provide a unique identity for each item and to give it sensing capabilities (for example temperature, light). The technology is being piloted in different use cases with several stakeholders from the food production and retail: Unilever (UK), Univerexport (Serbia), Plantaze (Montenegro), Leroy Merlin (France), Carrefour (Spain), etc. The overarching concept is the one of the product passport, i.e. a mechanism providing identity to individual product items and following it through its lifecycle. Such an identity solution, gathering information about the product, specifications, events and entities handling it, will provide a lot more visibility and transparency in the supply chain and will represent the basis for the creation of many new services atop. TRAC protocol will act as one of the important enablers for implementation of such concept globally and I’m looking forward to integrating TagItSmart based solutions and TRAC to create a truly transparent and secure supply chain, in particular for the food industry.

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