News and events
ISIN and blockchain in the international cotton market
08 April 2022
The Institute of Information Systems and Networking (ISIN) of the Department of Innovative Technologies of SUPSI participates in the Traceability for Sustainable Garment and Footwear project launched by the United Nations within the UNECE platform (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) for the use of blockchain in the management of traceability and transparency in the global cotton market.

Many industrial sectors are facing the need to improve the transparency and traceability of their supply chain. This allows more effective value chains management, identifying possible human rights and environmental violations, but also fighting counterfeiting and supporting more sustainable production and consumption patterns.

In this context, the Institute of Information Systems and Networking (ISIN) of the Department of Innovative Technologies of SUPSI is involved in the pilot research project Traceability for Sustainable Garment and Footwear. Commissioned and funded by the UN as part of the UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) platform, the project deals with the use of blockchain technologies in the management of traceability and transparency within the cotton market supply chain.

 «Through blockchain technologies, the project aims to create trust and transparency on commercial transactions between the different partners in the supply chain», explains Giacomo Poretti, senior lecturer-researcher at ISIN. «It also aims to support relationships with certification bodies to ensure that individual companies are maintaining the quality standards required by the industry to produce certain materials or goods».

The first stage of the project ended in September 2021 with the presentation of preliminary results. Currently, the system developed is being used by around 100 companies in 30 countries. The aim is to quickly create an industrial model capable of covering the international market in various economic sectors in a fully decentralised manner.

Since January 2022, the project has entered a new phase: instead of the manual data entry of the first phase, the intention is now to automate the process using programmed interfaces within the management sites of the companies.

The experience gained and the positive results obtained during the first phase of the project have aroused significant interest at local level. The State Council of the Canton of Ticino, through the Department of Finance and Economy (DFE), has commissioned the Institute of Information Systems and Networking to coordinate a pilot project for the use of blockchain in the Ticino PDO alpine cheese chain, with the aim of giving certified producers the opportunity to validate their certification through a new digital procedure.

«Blockchain is a fast-growing sector: more and more companies and institutions are interested in developing pilot projects to exploit the potential offered by these new technologies», Poretti explains. «At the moment ISIN is involved in several projects on the topic of blockchain funded by Innosuisse, the Swiss Agency for the Promotion of Innovation, to which direct mandates and thesis projects are also added. This shows an increasing focus on this topic also by our students, the software engineers of tomorrow».

Contacts
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