The German automaker has revealed the winner of its first Porsche Innovation Contest. It’s Xain AG – a blockchain startup which develops innovative concepts that utilize such technologies like blockchain, machine learning, and data analysis for industrial production. The startup was founded in February of this year and based in Germany.
Xain AG will receive €25,000 as a prize. Which is more, the giant car maker will collaborate with the startup in August to conduct a research on blockchain and then proceed to a three-month prototype development phase at SpinLab, a Leipzig-based accelerator backed by Porsche.
Located at an abandoned Leipzig’s cotton mill, SpinLab helps innovative startups to grow their businesses by providing mentoring, individual coaching sessions, and an access to the accelerator’s infrastructure, including office space and technology. Besides, the winner will be able to leverage an international network of major investors, established market players, and successful business founders.
Leif-Nissen Lundbaek, CEO and co-founder of Xain, hopes that the Porsche contest is a great opportunity for companies that are already developing blockchain applications. “The project is a great opportunity. Together with Porsche, we now want to continue our pioneering work on blockchain technology,” he said.
Martin Roth, manager for strategy, finances, and risk management at Porsche, believes that blockchain technology will see great future. “We aim to gain new perspectives on the disruptive potential of the transaction system blockchain from the start-up scene,” said Roth.
Lundbaek explained to reporters that Xian AG is using a “private Ethereum engine layer architecture” linked with a cryptographic AI protocol that “optimises the network in a self-learning way.” Still, Porsche and the winner of its contest keep silent on how exactly they plan to utilize the technology, as they are still assessing “to what extent using the technology in the value chain of the company is useful and feasible.”
One of the leading sports car producers announced Porsche Innovation Contest back in May suggesting startups send their applications May 15, 2017. “Porsche aims to obtain external input on the disruptive potential of the blockchain transaction system by collaborating with the start-up scene,” the company said in a press-release. “The central question is to what extent the application of this technology in the value creation chain of the company makes sense. Moreover, other forms of potential long-term collaboration will be investigated.”
The project is Porsche’s first foray into the blockchain sector. The company, however, is not the only automaker that is looking to embrace the new technology. In May, another autmaker, Toyota, also unveiled a new internal research effort. And earlier this year, Daimler AG announced its plans to join the Hyperledger project, an open source collaborative effort aimed at advancing cross-industry blockchain technologies.