Vnesheconombank and Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade (Minpromtorg) announced having allied for trial implementation of a block chain-based pilot project for the forest resource use registration and soundness control that was created by a team of schoolchildren from the VEB Teenager Involvement Department.
Russian Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Evtukhov pointed out that “it is often the case that the information about the forest resources licenced to industrial businesses is not adequate or complete, so businesses may face financial losses. Unfortunately, Russian forest resources are sometimes used in a predatory way or even smuggled away from Russia. With the modern technology like blockchain, we will be able to prevent potential abuse and foster the legal timber industry business growth.”
VEB Chairman Sergey Gorkov stressed that the project idea was generated and prepared for being implemented by schoolchildren from the VEB Teenager Involvement team. “This pilot project proves that our understanding was right that teenagers can deal with daunting tasks just as well as adults. They have little experience, but this is strength rather than a weakness. Nothing is holding them back, and they are upbeat, enthusiastic and determined to reach their goals. And though their projects need to be refined, it is obvious that they have the potential for evolving into effective business applications. The forest resource soundness monitoring project outcomes will be really useful to businesses and industrial companies in the forestry and timber industry and construction sector. Also, it will be a useful asset to people and businesses covered under the Far East Hectare programme.
During the trial implementation phase, the pilot project will be implemented at the assets of VEB subsidiary Kraslesinvest, a major timber processing facility in the Krasnoyarsk Territory. If the trial launch of the project is successful, the new forest resource monitoring system will be used in other Russia’s areas and regions.
The project trial phase will commence in November and will be finalised before the end of 2017. The field testing and preparation for scaling up the project are planned to be carried out in February 2018. The software developer for the project is Analytica Insight, a Russian company based in Chelyabinsk and winner of the Kazan nation-wide hackathon co-sponsored by VEB. Analytica Insight chief executive Roman Moiseev acted as mentor for the teenaged designer team. He noted that “while the product prototype is tested by addressing actual objectives that Kraslesinvest needs to solve, we will have not only to find an optimum database architecture solution, but also to explore the economic benefits and cost impact of blockchain technology as alternative to the tools for forest resource soundness monitoring that are currently being used. It is needless to say that the young designers from the VEB Teenager Involvement Department, who created the base system prototype, will be a part of the designer team. This team of young people have proved to be really passionate about creating software and exploring the new ways of doing things. The young designers will develop software and act as analysts according to the product map. They will continue to search for the potential markets for the products and new project partners.”