Blockchain laboratory North Rhine-Westphalia: need-driven development of new business models and value-added ecosystems based on Blockchain / distributed ledger technology



Lehrstuhl für Betriebswirtschaftslehre, insbesondere Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement


Initial situation:
The Blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) is at the beginning of its development. This currently offers a great opportunity to actively shape its further development and deployment. The aim of the overarching project "Blockchain Reallabor Rheinisches Revier" “(Blockchain laboratory Rhine-Westphalia) is therefore to develop functioning and practice-relevant application examples as proof of the potential of a Blockchain / DLT for North Rhine-Westphalia. To this end, the sectors strongly represented in the Rhineland region (e.g. energy, pharmacology, production, insurance, plastics, telecommunications, mobility, mechanical engineering, logistics, ICT, etc.), as well as public administration and services of general interest will be considered in focus. In addition to the further development of the technology itself and its fields of application, it is therefore necessary to develop suitable business models in order to motivate practical users to adopt DLT on a broad basis through concrete possibilities for economic exploitation.

Your thesis task:
After the concept of the DLT and in particular the Blockchain was in the past years subject of a certain "Hypes", it is now necessary to question critically the applicability and the use of the technology for enabling and support of innovative business models and platforms. The aim of the work is to contribute to a clearer understanding of the possibilities, but also the limitations, of DLT with a focus on its economic impact and applicability regarding business model innovation. Relevant research questions and research topics are in particular:

- Which Blockchain application suits which industry? Which needs actually exist, which unsolved challenges can be addressed with DLT (better than with other means)?
- What framework conditions (organization, processes, infrastructure) must be in place or created in order to implement Blockchain technology in a company or authority?
- Identification of Blockchain/DLT applications and corresponding business models: methods, best practices, patterns, pay-per-X, subscription
- Total cost of ownership of various Blockchain/DLT implementations (public/private)
- Consideration of network effects within individual applications as well as between different applications.
- Development of business model alternatives, definition of evaluation options and derivation of financing models.
- Fair, participative governance models for the operation of Blockchain/DLT value creation networks

Keywords: Business Model Innovation, Blockchain, Distributed Ledger Technology, Smart Contracts, Digitization, Digital Ecosystems, Industry 4.0, Internet of Things (IOT)