Image: SEAT

SEAT is the first car manufacturer to join Alastria, a multi-sector network of over 70 Spanish businesses and institutions developing, testing and collaborating on a blockchain infrastructure. It is already working on a proof-of-concept blockchain project with Telefónica to improve the traceability of parts within the supply chain for its Martorell factory [pictured], as part of its Industry 4.0 strategy.

Alastria is described as a “digital co-operation in an independent, neutral network” which encourages synergies between participants; SEAT president Luca de Meo said in a statement that: “being a part of the Alastria network opens up new possibilities for developing services and products with complete confidence and security… We are convinced of the importance that blockchain technology will have in the future, and for this reason we want to be involved from the outset.”

SEAT-joins-Alastria-for-the-development-of-blockchain-technology-based-solutions_003_HQ-300x200 Image: SEAT

SEAT intends to trial blockchain in several divisions, firstly in production and manufacturing, and then in finance, where it will test new initiatives to optimize standard procedures. This distributed ledger technology promises secure and verified data exchange, and the Alastria consortium intends to accelerate the creation of a common collaborative platform and ecosystem providing a digital ID, ‘ID Alastria’, for all individuals and participants, including private citizens who will have control over their personal information in their interactions with, for example, public agencies or educational institutions.

Partners in the consortium so far include banks such as Banco Santander and BBVA, the universities of Girona, Málaga, Valencia and San Pablo-CEU, internationally-known companies such as Accenture, Deloitte and Telefónica, and energy or fuel firms such as Repsol.

Urban mobility initiative also underway

SEAT has also recently announced its participation in the European Union’s Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) on Urban Mobility, in which it will work with the city of Barcelona and 46 other cities, businesses and universities in 15 European countries within the MOBILus consortium. This project will run for 7-15 years with an investment of up to €1.6 billion: €400 million from the EU and up to €1.2 billion from the partners. It will be headquartered in Barcelona with other branches in Copenhagen, Prague, Munich and Helmond (The Netherlands).

The MOBILus consortium has set out aims including the creation of 180 associated mobility start-ups; freeing-up of road space in 90pc of the participating cities; the training of 1,450 graduates in mobility-related specialities; and an increase in shared mobility in all of the member countries. Luca de Meo said at a KIC conference that: “this initiative is going to enable us to boost a new European model of mobility that encourages innovation and competitiveness.”