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Trusted, traceable and transparent ontological knowledge on blockchain

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - OntoChain (Trusted, traceable and transparent ontological knowledge on blockchain)

Reporting period: 2020-09-01 to 2021-08-31

"The overall mission of the Next Generation Internet initiative is to re-imagine and re-engineer the Internet for the third millennium and beyond. We envision the information age will be an era that brings out the best in all of us. We want to enable human potential, mobility and creativity at the largest
possible scale while dealing responsibly with our natural resources. In order to preserve and expand the European way of life, we shape a value-centric, human and inclusive Internet for all." The aforementioned significant ambitions need a solid foundation on which people –representing different cross-sector domains– can build on; and this is getting more and more visible nowadays that the technological innovation –in some cases– lacks transparency and trustworthiness.
Nonetheless, greater transparency and trustworthiness can still be achieved in the Next Generation Internet.
In that sense, the vision and approach of ONTOCHAIN is to bring together a set of new technologies to realize formal logic (e.g. first order logic) with the ability to execute formal proofs directly on blockchain. ONTOCHAIN use-cases are built upon different protocols and interactions between different blockchain frameworks, while hiding them from the use-cases to support effortless inter-service process cooperation. It is intended that this blockchain-based framework will enable higher performance and scalability, through the engagement of different business logics, access methods and governance models, whereas will present scalable solutions for ensuring secure and transparent content and information exchange as well as service interoperability. ONTOCHAIN technology framework will constitute a building block of NGI towards a more human-centric Internet that supports values of openness, decentralisation, inclusiveness and protection of privacy and giving the control back to the end-users to be able to benefit from democratic, transparent and trustworthy decision making mechanisms.
The focus of year 1 has been to set up the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem and design specification. This, has implied to elaborate and implement an effective methodology for the Open Call 1 (OC1) “ONTOCHAIN Framework design specification” in order to establish the ONTOCHAIN framework as a human-centric, decentralised & trustworthy solution for different applications and so to aggregate knowledge, lesson learned and outcomes to design and implement the Open Call 2 (OC2) “Protocol suite and software ecosystem foundations” in year 2 of the ONTOCHAIN project. This activities have generally progressed very well, leading to the effective implementation of OC1 with 137 applications to contribute to the specification design of the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem, 17 third parties enrolled in phase OC1 phase 1 to refine their proposal and finally 7 third parties to conceptualize their research project according to the ONTOCHAIN Frame and ecosystem architecture.

FIGURE : ONTOCHAIN ECOSYSTEM ARCHITECTURE

The methodology for OC1 overall implementation has been successfully elaborated and applied. Specific efforts has also been realised in order to build the community around the OC1 and assemble the ONTOCHAIN Advisory Board. All these effort has also lead in the launching of the OC2. A first application oriented state of the art analysis and a review of the cross industry innovation as well as the definition of a technical inventory related to ONTOCHAIN in order to set up a relevant technology framework and specify the ONTOCHAIN components have been implemented. The impact creation of OC1 in terms of direct outcomes but also to provide inputs for OC2 has been analysed. The methodology to build the ONTOCHAIN ecosystem foundations and the experiments application is about to be set up based among other on the outcomes of OC1. The elaboration of the evaluation methodology of ONTOCHAIN outcomes of OC1 outomes has been designed and applied. A thorough analysis of the business aspects related to the overall project and a preliminary business model for the ONTOCHAIN value proposition have been prepared. The legal, ethical and societal implications of ONTOCHAIN in order to be able to follow adequate guidelines and take appropriate actions for its development have been identified. An overviews of the characteristics of the different IPRs which can be generated in the project have been provided. The best practices which will be used in ONTOCHAIN to protect them has been presented. The project identity and branding including the website of the project ensuring wide dissemination and communication to all stakeholders interested by the ONTOCHAIN project and its open calls have been set up. A first exploitation paths for the project outcome thanks to the early business model elaborated has been also investigated. The ethical aspects with respect to the use of sensitive data in all the project actions as well as the procedures implemented by the ONTOCHAIN consortium to ensure that no privacy or data protection requirements are being transgressed during the research and development activities of the project have been identified, set up and implemented. It has also lead to the creation of the ONTOCHAIN ethics board that monitor and safeguard all ethical aspects of the project by ensuring the activation of appropriate procedures if needed.
Internet has acquired greater influence on people’s lives and the way that industries operate today or the way that they are expected to be organised in the future is fuelling great interest. It is highly positive that regulators and policy-makers have taken over and have put priorities on high impact policy initiatives (such as the NGI) at European and international level. ONTOCHAIN envisions to contribute to the success of NGI and to advance the ability of Europeans to flourish individually and collectively within this new era and to fundamentally change the way that we perceive the digital world around us. ONTOCHAIN’s immediate impact consists of the following core points:
1.Growing the blockchain and next generation internet communities, through a 3-year project with many vertical and horizontal actions towards the empowerment of communities, as well as the inclusion of cross-sectorial applications and the involvement of experts, covering a wide spectrum of expertise.
2.Educating and providing funding to a large number of researchers, innovators, start-ups, SMEs, use-case holders (practitioners), increasing their awareness towards a more trustworthy and decentralised internet that could offer several societal and economic benefits.
3.Providing the workspace for the building and validation of new technological frameworks, created within ONTOCHAIN, and proposing new economic schemes towards a human-centric evolution of the future internet.
4.Creating the required proof-of-concept and the adequate knowledge for providing recommendations and a roadmap towards a more focused and efficient European policy-making process.
Here are just a few areas where the ONTOCHAIN Consortium believes substantial progress beyond the state of the art are and will be achieved.
-Reputation management
-Trusted data semantics
-General data protection and marketplaces based on trusted knowledge and information
The figure describes the ONTOCHAIN Ecosystem architecture