Innovation That Matters

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Tracking supply chains with blockchain


Circulor offers an intuitive platform for tracing the origin of raw materials

Spotted: When most people hear the word ‘blockchain’ they think of cryptocurrency. But the technology has a wide range of potential uses across sectors – although much of this promise has yet to be fulfilled in practice. One area where blockchain could make a big difference is in supply chain traceability, with one study forecasting that the global blockchain-enabled supply chain market will reach $17.15 billion (around €15.67 billion) by 2030.  

One company at the forefront of this trend is UK-based Circulor, which has developed technology to track materials from extraction to final product. At each step, information on the material, such as its weight and mass balance, is logged on the company’s private, permission-based blockchain. Once inputted, this information cannot be altered or erased, and it is this immutability that makes the data collected secure and trustworthy. 

The whole system is designed to be easy-to-use for all supply chain stakeholders – both upstream and downstream – with mobile and desktop applications. Information is fed to the blockchain through APIs equipped with security and authentication protocols, with stakeholders scanning tags attached to the physical materials. This, in effect, creates a digital twin of the material. Circulor’s technology also easily integrates with existing enterprise platforms.  

To begin with Circulor has focused on raw materials, particularly in the automotive industry. For example, it recently partnered with one of the world’s largest lithium producers to provide lithium traceability information for electric vehicle manufacturers, including Volvo. 

But despite the initial focus on automakers, Circulor sees applications for its technology across a broad range of sectors, such as the extractive, recycling, and construction industries.

Springwise has spotted many innovations in the archive looking to improve the efficiency and sustainability of supply chains, including a platform to decarbonise industrial supply chains and another providing transparency across food production.

Written By: Matthew Hempstead




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