Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) are transformative and bring about a potential for improvement in the European citizenship and economic growth – enabling decentralised, trusted, transparent, user-centric digital services, stimulating new and improved business models, and promoting decentralised social innovations. For this purpose, the EC is considering these technologies strategic for the next decades, promoting a holistic approach to their deployment in multiple application domains: from medical data to smart homes and grids, citizenship and democratic decision making, transport, creative industries, and digital social media. While many of the challenges related to blockchain technologies may be perceived as exclusively technical, or deeply infrastructural, these technologies have the potential to profoundly impact business and human experience and values. Effective deployments of blockchain will require bringing together in a synergistic way the technical expertise and a design innovation perspective based on the principles of design thinking, which focus on a deep understanding of human needs to produce strong case-studies in different domains through an iterative process of ideation and real-world testing.

The overall goal of this proposal is to seek funding in order to expand the research and innovation potential of Técnico – Lisbon contributing to foster a digital ecosystem taking advantage of Blockchain technologies and design Innovation for social Good through the hiring of an ERA Chair aiming at developing a critical mass of interdisciplinary research in deploying and testing blockchain technologies in strategic applications domains aligned with the smart specialization strategy (S3) of Portugal and Lisbon. The BIG ERA Chair aims at unlocking the full potential of interdisciplinary research in the leading engineering school of Portugal while strengthening innovation and knowledge transfer activities in close collaboration with local and global industrial partners and contributing to the smart specialization strategy of the Lisbon Region in stimulating the upcoming ecosystem of digital startups and their economic impact.