Trace Alliance — a collaborative hub of firms, organizations, individuals, and institutions — was initiated with the aim of facilitating education, training and adoption of blockchain technologies in global supply chains. The formation of Trace Alliance was solidly based on the tangible experiences and requests received during the development of the popular Origin-Trail open-source protocol. We have been working intensely with various stakeholders and understand the challenges they have to address when considering blockchain technology. There is a clear need for collaboration and discussion in this area, which has been, and arguably still is, new to most stakeholders and decision-makers. After all, blockchain is viewed by scholars at Harvard Business School as ‘foundational’ and while it will take time to implement, the implications will be significant as it forms a foundational layer for transactional trust across society.
A Look Back — A Year of Experience Sharing and Growth
In the past year, a lot has been achieved and Trace Alliance is firmly established as one of the leading organizations in the field. John G. Keogh was appointed as the inaugural Trace Alliance Chairman for a one-year term in May 2018. John brought over 30 years of industry experience to the role. He previously held executive and leadership positions at organizations such as GS1, Hewlett-Packard, Compaq and Digital Equipment Corp. He has held roles such as SVP Traceability, Global CIO and Global VP of Supply Chain Management.
Mr. Keogh’s term was completed in June 2019 and the steering committee, comprised of OriginTrail’s founders, is grateful for his contribution.
The Trace Alliance website was launched exactly one year ago, in August 2018, which marked the increasing public awareness for the Alliance and since then, new membership applications have been on the rise.
Trace Alliance now boasts almost 100 members committed to collaboration in implementing novel, blockchain-based solutions to supply chains. Each member brings a new perspective and experience to the alliance, making it a truly diverse and collaborative hub.
Other activities that took place during the inaugural year of the Trace Alliance include:
- Several webinars (most recently in June, when John G. Keogh and Trace Labs General Manager Jurij Škornik guided users through the basic concepts of starting with the blockchain and distributed ledger technologies for business use);
- Workshops where business users developed their blockchain use cases using OriginTrail’s Blockchain Use Case Canvas;
- Events connecting Trace Alliance members and facilitating discussion about challenges in modern supply chains and identifying key points where the blockchain could help;
- Online educational content with expert views on blockchain implementation and the role of standards;
- Ongoing discussions in the exclusive LinkedIn group for members who want to share their milestones and engage in blockchain-related discussions.
- Members regularly receive a newsletter with updates from the member organizations, as well as other valuable resources about blockchain technology for supply chains.
“I was proud to serve as the inaugural chairman of the Trace Alliance. During my tenure, I put a lot of attention towards reducing the hype and focusing on educating and training of the global business community. This is critically important because blockchain technology can provide significant benefits to the public and private sectors. We also focused on the importance of common, industry-driven standards, data governance and interoperability. Issues such as food safety and food fraud are serious concerns in many parts of the world and existing implementations of blockchain technology, including the OriginTrail protocol, prove that more integrity and transparency is an achievable goal to enhance trust”, said John G. Keogh.
“We are thankful for Mr. Keogh’s contribution during the first year of the Trace Alliance. He set firm foundations for the further growth of this inclusive organisation. At the moment, we are crafting a strategy to align the Trace Alliance mission — fostering a collaborative approach in blockchain implementation to supply chains worldwide — with the overall strategy and vision of the OriginTrail Ecosystem, as outlined in the OriginTrail Vision Paper. We are looking at ways to better involve the members of the Alliance in the future governance model and will soon be ready to reveal more details,” said Tomaž Levak, Co-founder at OriginTrail.
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About the Trace Alliance
Trace Alliance is a non-profit association initiated by OriginTrail as a collaborative hub to connect all organizations aiming to work together to solve complex supply chain challenges using blockchain technology. Examples of the challenges the alliance intends to tackle include data interoperability, securing product visibility and fighting counterfeit practices. Trace Alliance acts as a unique platform for sharing knowledge and experience from real-world blockchain implementations, connecting with other members, creating new expertise, and facilitating the adoption of blockchain technology and the OriginTrail protocol on a global level.
Trace Alliance is aimed at four key audiences that are stakeholders in digitizing global supply chains:
- Enterprises using or planning to use blockchain solutions in their supply chains;
- Service providers that are IT service companies working as implementers of blockchain solutions for third parties;
- The development community, consisting of both software companies and individual coders, who are important for building further open-source applications on top of the blockchain and the OriginTrail protocol;
- Research institutions that have an increasing interest in how the blockchain is used and transforms business processes, and are contributing to the alliance with their significant knowledge and research insights.
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