Living Planet Symposium: special session on DLT/Blockchain

The ESA Living Planet Symposium (LPS) is a largest global Earth Observation event organized by the Agency every 3 years with the objective to communicate the key achievements in EO science and to pave the way forward for the future. In 2019, the LPS has featured, for the first time, a special session on blockchain and Distributed Ledgers to tap to the global thinking on digital innovation in the era of the Forth Industrial Revolution.

The session has brought together the representatives of the industry, users and policy-makers from Europe and North America to discuss the opportunities and challenges for DLT applications and to outline key European and international initiatives in different sectors of the economy.  The panel featured participants from ESA, European Commission, the World Bank, and automotive industry, as well as leading EO and tech companies such as Guardtime, CloudEO, and Spherity.

Bjorn-Soren Gigler, Senior Digital Innovation Specialist, Digital Innovation and Blockchain Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission, has provided the overview of the European Commission priorities for Blockchain. “In the future blockchain should be seen as an essential component of the digital data space/world characterised by the convergence of AI/blockchain/IoT/big data and other technologies” he said referring to the work of the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum. Aanchal Annand from the World Bank reflected on the challenge of driving adoption of a relatively new and untested technology but also the opportunity to introduce the transparency and independent monitoring of assets and transactions.

Arwen Smit, MintBit. representing the MOBI Grand Challenge, has highlighted the need to create ecosystems that will stimulate innovative thinking. The MOBI consortium has initiated such communities by creating association of major automotive industry and progressive municipalities applying blockchain solutions to the Smart Cities concept.

“ESA Vision 2040 is challenging us to look deeper at the drivers of the digital revolution and recognize that the technologies such as AI, blockchain, EO, internet of things big data analytics are coming together” said Anna Burzykowska from ESA. “Interestingly, blockchain and EO have one thing in common: they are not end in itself but they are enabling the next wave of technological development in the digital economy. Their impact will be revealed through the use cases that we need to thoroughly pursue.”

The blockchain DeepDive session presented examples of implementation including the use of smart contracts in CloudEO platform, system developed by Guardtime for EO data provenance s well as the decentralized cloud computing platform by iExec which has been used for applications such as data renting and training of AI models.


Agenda and speakers:



Introduction & Moderation by Carsten Stoeker, CEO Spherity & Anna Burzykowska, European Space Agency


European policy vision and cross-industry innovation

  • Bjorn-Soren Gigler, Senior Digital Innovation Specialist, Digital Innovation and Blockchain Unit, DG CONNECT, European Commission
  • Aanchal Anand, Land Specialist and Blockchain Expert, World Bank
  • Arwen Smit, MintBit and MOBI Grand Challenge
  • Andreas Freitag, Senior Manager & Blockchain Lead Austria, Accenture

10.20-10.35 Q&A

10.35–10.45 Coffee Break


EO & Blockchain DeepDive

  • Manfred Krische, Founder and CEO, CloudEO
  • Andreas Sissask, Product Owner, Guardtime
  • Jean-Charles Cabelguen, Chief Innovation & Adoption, iExec

11.35-11.50 Q&A


Conclusions and Call for Action