Call for Proposals

UCL CBT Call for Proposals and winner announcements

Call for Proposals 2020

Winner Announcement

Opening Words


Creating an inter-hospital resilient network for pandemic response based on blockchain and dynamic digital twins: a systems approach for now and future

Dr. Qiuchen Lu, Prof. Michael Pitt, Dr. Long Chen, Dr. Xiang Xie, Dr. Simon Addyman, Abel Maciel


The world nowadays has been suffering from the COVID-19 outbreak, where our great NHS has been able to shield our nation but was frequently facing collapse risk, especially at the beginning of delay phase. Considering remaining risks of second spike, it is time to think how to protect our NHS from the possible second-wave COVID-19 and how to prepare our nation for the future pandemic response. This research will develop new knowledge about how to configure digital information for pandemic rapid response, which can abstract and use blockchain and digital driven approaches to facilitate analyses and develop a total solution. Developing and using the rich data implied by dynamic digital twins and blockchain is relevant to manage both patients and medical resources (e.g., doctors/nurses, PPE, beds and ventilators etc.) at the COVID-19 and post COVID period. This proposal will learn experiences of resources deployment/redeployment and pandemic response from St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Royal London Hospital to explore the blockchain solutions for preparing healthcare systems ready for both efficient operation daily and in pandemic thorough (1) information integration of patient (privacy protected) flow and medical resource flow from healthcare and medical records; (2) optimising deployment of such resources based on hospitals, regions and local pandemic levels switching from normal to outbreak. This research will set up innovative ways from blockchain and digital intelligence to best care for patients, protect NHS staff, and support government scientific decisions to beat COVID-19 now and manage crisis in the future.


COVID-19 and Responsive Legal Agreements using Oracles

Niall Roche, Dr. Alastair Moore


We aim to define an approach to help to manage aspects of uncertainty for businesses that are impacted by unprecedented events, such as COVID-19. There is no clear universal legal lexicon to describe these events. So, without a formal definition and data representation, it is challenging to reason with them from a contract perspective. We want to continue our initial work in defining a schema for representing pandemic data to enable legal contract clauses to be written with these types of events in mind. It is hoped that this initiative will reduce cost and disruption associated with contracts that are impacted by events, such as the ones in the following nonexhaustive list of force majeure events, such as COVID-19. As current restrictions are lifted in response to reduced infection risks and changing policy, there is a need for parties to be able to enter into agreements where the trading environment may be subject to rapid change. If a sector is restricted again in response to changing infection rates, it may be necessary for contracts to explicitly deal with temporal conditions that are applicable at local or regional level. The data sources examined by the authors includes a range of government and health organisations such as local authorities and health providers using oracle platforms, proving transparency and an audit trail of data as it is sourced and processed. We will expand our sample pandemic aware policies and DLT implementations that use them for others to extend.

Hygieia: A secure, smart, privacy-preserving and interoperable Blockchain solution for the healthcare and medical sector

Theodosis Mourouzis, Alex Hasikos, Stylianos Kampakis


In an era of COVID-19 where isolation and lockdown measures have been imposed, healthcare centres had to use applications for sharing data and intelligence on COVID-19 infections, as well as using monitoring tools regarding the symptoms and health conditions of patients. As a result of this digitisation process the sector experienced a massive wave of cyberattacks and faced many challenges in regards to data sharing due to interoperability and security challenges arising by the different types of systems being used. Forgery (or accidental change) of medical records has very serious implications. Hygieia is a Blockchain-based platform that can be used to combat data forgery in the healthcare sector. We propose the use of a federated permissioned Blockchain that will enable different stakeholders such as hospitals, medical centers, labs, patients etc to securely store and exchange their data with security and in a privacy preserving manner. The blockchain network in the proposed system will timestamp and store healthcare data and its associated files guaranteeing the immutability of records. In addition, a universal data structure of a COVID-19 smart contract will be derived that will enable better data sharing procedures in the healthcare sector. On top of that, a privacy and structure preserving layer is built on top of the ecosystem that combines state-of-the-art cryptographic techniques such as Zero Knowledge Proofs and homomorphic encryption (such as Fan and Vercauteren scheme) that allows entities to derive intelligence and visualisations regarding COVID-19 incidents via the ledger without the privacy of patients being sacrificed.


Circularity and Blockchain Technology for Food Redistribution and Community Well-being

Nemitari Ajienka Bilyaminu, Auwal Romo


Approximately 2.2 million British people are food insecure as a result of around families of nearly 4 million children not having enough funds to procure enough food, or the full variety of foods required for a healthy diet. The Guardian has reported several cities (like Oxford) and boroughs in the UK that are battling this issue. Recently, it was reported that the borough of Newham in London is trying to set up a new food distribution system. Focusing on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger, this project aims to develop an initial proof of concept software solution via a feasibility study addressing the food insecurity problem, using the Circular Economy theory and Blockchain technology in the redistribution of food and other essentials by expanding the donor network available to charitable food distribution networks. Current blockchain solutions aimed at food security and provenance are failing on or have not embedded the theory of circularity. Embedding the theory in a blockchain solution to solve the food insecurity problem can enhance the way people donate food items, donation transparency (which leads to increased donations), donor anonymity (for data protection) and enable tracking or provenance of donations via an immutable database (via blockchain technology). On the other hand, the software solution can be extended to the donation of recyclable materials to other interested organisations (e.g., manufacturers of skincare products using coffee bean oil or coffee grounds in the UK) enabling donor organisations apply for tax deductions using a fail-proof data source

The Case for Antifragile Global Supply Chains: Blockchain-based Supply Chains in Medical Devices

Navroop Sahdev, Gurvinder Ahluwalia


The COVID-19 pandemic and its socioeconomic ripple effects on the current economic system have revealed new opportunities in blockchain technology applied to global supply chains. The challenges in global supply chains are widely known in industry: suppliers in emerging markets pay up to 30% interest on receivable financing, around 200 communications occur between parties to trade one shipment across two countries, multiple governmental agencies with extensive and manual documentation are involved and counterfeit goods continue to be a challenge. These challenges are accentuated and, for medical devices, ill-afforded in supply chains during pandemics. At the same time, with the current pandemic, a massive transfer of wealth is taking place, contributing to rising inequality around the world due to fragmented global markets. For these reasons, there is an urgent need to redesign supply networks (with short-term, medium-term and longterm strategies) where emerging technologies like blockchain can help by enhancing efficiencies – economic, communications and trust-related. The aim is to build systems for the post-pandemic world that are resilient, robust and even antifragile, most importantly, by establishing a common source of truth through transparent, trusted and secure data on goods and transactions. Digital payments companies stand at the cusp of playing a critical role as a driver in shaping the future of global networks by making payments and the movement of data seamless and, in turn, contributing to establishing an equitable global economic order.

Closing words

Dr. Paolo Tasca, Executive Director UCL CBT