Niels AnnemaData analyst Niels Annema is part of the data science team at the province of Drenthe (the Netherlands). He is the project manager for the BLING project at the province and is working together with the Blockchainlab Drenthe.
1. How is the province of Drenthe involved in blockchain; can you tell us a bit about your (latest) developments?
The province has commissioned the Blockchainlab Drenthe for the BLING project to stimulate blockchain technology in the region. The Blockchainlab has worked on sharing knowledge about blockchain between companies, knowledge institutions and other organizations. In addition, it has developed a unique working pilot project based on blockchain technology. Notable results are the hundreds of people that have been informed about blockchain with the online meetings, webinars and the development of a blockchain minor at the university of applied sciences NHL Stenden. A major recent development was the development and launch of the ‘Self-sovereign Attendancy App’ at the North Sea Conference.
2. Which blockchain topics do you find the most interesting or promising?
Working as a data analyst has made me very aware about its uses, but also about the dangers of data collection. All blockchain related activities with regards to privacy are a valuable addition to keep everything in line with the GDPR. Especially the ‘Self-sovereign Attendancy App’ made by our very own Blockchainlab Drenthe is a wonderful example.
3. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far by working together with international partners in this European project?
When you work in a new field like blockchain, it is very important to collaborate and learn from others. It is impossible to keep up with all new developments by yourself. I’ve only been a part of the BLING project for about half a year, but the showcases from all the different pilots have already taught me so much about the possible uses of blockchain technology. I could have never imagined that.