June 30, 2020
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM, 30 June 2020 - Provenance, the leading transparency platform for brands, has been awarded the prestigious “Blockchains for Social Good” prize from the European Commission to continue their work enabling supply chain and impact information to be communicated and digitally authenticated through their pioneering software.Going beyond product traceability, Provenance creates proof that’s meaningful to shoppers on the social and environmental impact behind products. They are leveraging blockchain technology to connect impact information to proven facts that anyone can trust. “Proof Points”appear to shoppers as interactive icons representing claims about a business or product.Each Proof Point is part of the Provenance Transparency Framework, which is designed for shoppers to easily compare and trust what is said at the point of sale.“I warmly congratulate all the winners. The proposed solutions show how blockchain can create positive social change by supporting fair trade, increasing transparency in production processes and e-commerce and contributing to financial inclusion by exploring decentralised economic structures. I hope that this award can help upscale these outstanding ideas and inspire many other innovators,” commended Maria Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation Research, Culture, Education and Youth. The 15-month long competition is run under Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme, and rewards blockchain innovators from across Europe “to learn how Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT) might positively affect our society in various application areas related to sustainability and (UN's Sustainable Development Goals) SDGs.” In February 2020,Provenance founder and CEO, Jessi Baker, pitched the proposed solution in Brussels,alongside 22 other finalists selected from 176 applications received for the prize.“I think how a brand impacts the environment and society will be core to why we trust them in the future. Green, fair and transparent must become the fastest growing trend, otherwise, ourplanet is in trouble. For us, the next frontier is impact transparency with integrity. We’ve seen companies show us their factories and some impact information, which is great, but with manybrands opening information to their customers, we need consistency and proof that what theysay has impact. We created Proof Points during the Blockchain for Social Good prize period,provenance.org1 of 3to enable commitments, impact progress and claims to be digitally authenticated in astraightforward way we can all understand and trust. This will enable the brands of the futureto win,” explained Baker.Development of the tools available in the blockchain space has grown hugely, however,Baker and her team at Provenance state that some of the largest challenges faced in 2014 arestill present today. The lack of privacy and scalability on public chains is prohibitive toend-to-end tracking. Provenance is tackling the $12.3 trillion global Consumer Retail market,where 90% of Generation Z expects brands to take a responsible approach to environmentaland social issues. This prize will be used by Provenance to accelerate its progress indeveloping open, decentralised and scalable solutions for bringing supply chain informationto the public – establishing a network layer of trust and driving impact-led commerce.The vision for Provenance is to enable every brand to be transparent with integrity, in order toempower the market of buyers and shoppers to reward socially and environmentallyresponsible businesses. The aim is to help citizens make purchasing decisions based on truestories and impact, rather than just price and convenience.NOTES TO EDITORSPlease find further assets in our Press Kit. For media interviews or more information, pleasecontact Sarah Fulton Vachon at firstname.lastname@example.org.About ProvenanceProvenance is a platform and consultancy that empowers brands to make the sourcing andimpact behind their products transparent. We exist to enable citizens to access and trust inbusiness sustainability efforts beyond today’s marketing hype. As the leading transparencyprogram for brands, our technology supports businesses to make the origin, journey andimpact behind products open to the millions of people that want to know more.Enabled by blockchain, mobile and open data, our software gathers and shares keyinformation and stories in a way that’s secure, trustworthy and accessible – bringing thesupply chain to the shopper, online and in-store in a meaningful way. Provenance is aregistered social enterprise and certified B Corp based in London.To date, Provenance has deployed Proof Points with over 55 businesses and engaged in 20high labour risk commodity supply chains, with a predominance in coffee, tea, seafood andapparel manufacturing. Of the 20 high labour risk commodity supply chains, we estimate ourwork has, directly and indirectly, impacted the lives of over 77,000 workers (agriculturalsmallholders, fishermen, miners, seamstresses, factory workers) across 17 countries.About the founder:provenance.org2 of 3Jessi Baker, MBE, is the founder and CEO of provenance.org, a technology platform that ispioneering the use of blockchain to enable supply-chain and impact transparency. She is anArt and Science hybrid, with a Master’s in Engineering from Cambridge University andMasters in Design from the Royal College of Art. Jessi founded Provenance whilst doing aPhD in Computer Science (UCL) looking at the transparency of information in product supplychains leveraging distributed ledger technologies. Jessi has worked with many global brandson technology and digital design strategy including Adidas, The Four Seasons, TheGuggenheim Museum, Will.I.Am, British Airways and Louis Vuitton.About the EIC Horizon 2020 PrizeThe call for the Prize opened on 16 May 2018 and closed on 3 September 2019. 176applications were received from 43 countries (19 of which outside the EU), which addressedfairly well all the six areas indicated in the call, and 13 additional areas proposed by theapplicants themselves (as allowed by the Rules of Contest). As for the categories ofapplicants, 10% of the proposals originated from individuals, 10% from public institutions(mostly universities, but also Red Cross, Oxfam, foundations) and nearly 80% from start-upsand SMEs.The evaluation was organised in two steps. Following a preselection in November 2019, the23 best applications were invited to a final hearing with the Jury on 10 February 2020. It isinteresting to note that nearly half of the areas covered by the selected applications (QualityContent, Aid & Philanthropy, Energy, Health) are new areas related to SustainableDevelopment Goals (DGs), which were not foreseen of the Prize in 2016.In parallel to the hearing, the 23 finalists were invited to present and discuss their solutions ata public workshop, which attracted more than 170 participants. The event sought to givepublic visibility not only to the Prize winners but also to all finalist applications, and togenerate further community discussion on the potential of blockchains to support socialinnovation.