Fujitsu Opens Blockchain Innovation Center in Belgium, Exploring Smart Cities, IoT and AI

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While regulators in Japan are tightening up on the cryptocurrency and ICO industry, the Japanese IT manufacturer, Fujitsu has opened an international Blockchain Innovation Center in Brussels, Belgium, according to a press release. Fujitsu describes itself as a “global information and communication technology (ICT) company.” As a leading ICT company in Japan, it offers a number of tech products, solutions and services.

Current Fujitsu services include hybrid IT and cloud services, application services, business ser ices and managed infrastructure services. Its IT products and systems include servers and computer accessories, software, networking components and other electronic devices. Blockchain technology is a natural extension of these products and services as the company looks to take the lead among mainstream innovators in the growing space.

The Blockchain Innovation Center will serve as a space to accelerate the development of next-generation blockchain applications. It will serve as a strategic platform for the exchange of related information, goods and services. The company will explore distributed ledger technologies, including blockchain, and will collaborate on projects in both the private and public sectors. This includes developing technology for smart cities, particularly in Belgium and cities across Europe.

According to the press release, Fujitsu chose Brussels for its “geographical, political, technological and linguistic advantages for international organizations that are considering applications of blockchain technology.”

Fujitsu intends to explore blockchain beyond its financial applications, wherever ledger-based audit trails are beneficial. These applications might include logistics, supply chain, real estate, voting and other use cases that may benefit from smart contracts.

According to Yves de Beauregard, Head of Fujitsu Benelux, “We are already seeing high levels of interest from our customers in better understanding how they can integrate blockchain into business processes.”

Fujitsu is not the only company moving in this direction. IBM has developed a blockchain platform for start-ups, Volkswagen is working with IOTA to develop Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) technology for smart cities and other international corporations are applying blockchain in different ways. What makes the Fujitsu endeavor unique is its approach.

The company looks to approach Smart City services, not just from a technology perspective, but also by incorporating sociological and demographic factors, including societal organization, economics and differing ecological factors.

According to the National League of Cities, over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and their research indicates that this proportion will increase to two-thirds by 2050. Finding ways to improve public safety, infrastructure, transportation and housing in these areas will become a top priority, and blockchain may be the key to their success.

Fujitsu stock (FJTSY) is currently trading at $29.02. It has been relatively stable between $29 to $30 since it took a big hit when it fell from $37.24 on January 30, 2018 to $29.22 on February 5, 2018. It will be interesting to see how opening this center and announcing its exploration of blockchain technology will affect its price and volume.

Fujitsu’s mission is to promote a “Human Centric Intelligent Society.” They look to achieve this by integrating people, information and infrastructure. Current technologies that they focus on include Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing. Blockchain may not only be added to this list of services, but it would likely be incorporated into every service in some way.

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