/Transformative Impact of Blockchain technologies in Public Services (TOKEN)

Transformative Impact of Blockchain technologies in Public Services (TOKEN)

A flourishing local economy is inextricably linked to smooth local logistics.

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In TOKEN, a European Horizon 2020 project, we investigate the added value of Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLT), such as blockchain, to improve the usability and effectiveness of public services while guaranteeing citizens’ privacy.

In this project, four use cases have been defined:

  • Public Funding Distribution
  • Transparent Management of Public Accounts
  • Dynamic access to the city & last mile (food) logistics
  • Data Valorization Services

As part of the City of Things program, imec investigates how technology can make our cities more livable. Because the public sector is becoming increasingly aware of the extraordinary services that technology can provide to sustainably address current and future challenges such as mobility, environment and urban planning.

The TOKEN project fits the strategy of this program. In order to turn it into a success, imec brings in expertise in smart city development, digital technology innovation management and public/private stakeholder management.

Imec developed an innovation methodology, called Innovatrix, to structure and guide the four use cases in the most efficient way. The methodology makes sure innovation happens at the intersection of what is:

  • desired by end users
  • feasible by the technology
  • viable for the innovation teams

Dynamic access to the city and last mile (food) logistics

More than ever, because of the effect of COVID-19 on the economy, local farmers and stores face important challenges when distributing and selling their food locally. Moreover, cities are looking for solutions to promote more sustainable mobility.

The ‘Dynamic access to the city and last mile (food) logistics’ use case investigates how to promote last mile deliveries and the local economy in the city of Leuven, by granting access to the city and parking services based on sustainable practices.

By using the unique capabilities of blockchain technology, such as transparency and distributed traceability, we aim to create a trusted platform for all the partners. This platform will enable effective logistics tracking and planning for local food, and a distributed interaction with all the actors in the value chain. 


We will define an index to grant dynamically calculated preferential access to the city by combining multiple metrics such as:

  • sustainability
  • green mobility
  • end-to-end routing distance
  • transport modalities
  • real-time traffic information

Each actor will be connected to the distributed blockchain-based TOKEN platform, to enable data sharing while guaranteeing that each actor can only access the relevant information needed to execute one single step of the process. In this way, the ownership of the information is distributed among all actors. They can each control which information is shared and prevent each individual actor to track the end-to-end process.

In order to guarantee the relevance of the definition and implementation of this use-case, we have selected and established a collaboration with key partners engaged in the end-to-end local distribution process.

Moreover, we have been conducting scoping workshops and interviews to cocreate the use case with end users and industry experts. Our goal is to make sure their knowledge, needs and challenges are concretely mapped and addressed in this use case.

By implementing this use case, we will test the relevance of dynamic access and parking – starting from local food logistics. The use case could be then expanded to cover other (local) products and to include new partners. Moreover, the collected information can be applied to support innovative policy making or to improve business processes.

The project also aims to optimize the logistics process, reducing delivery times and costs. This includes the optimization of:

  • the delivery moment: focus on the interaction between shipper, logistic service provider and shop/consumer
  • the delivery location: focus on data exchange between logistic service provider, shop/consumer and the city infrastructure
  • the optimization of returns

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TOKEN closing event: Unblock The City #3 - November 24, 2022

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VIL logo

What is VIL?

VIL helps Flemish companies carry out innovative logisticsprojects, enhancing their competitiveness in the process. It receives grants for this from the Flemish government. VIL’score business is promoting innovative logistics concepts and technological developments among Flemish companies through financial support, advice and networking.

Role of VIL in the Token-project:

As a project partner, we believe Distributed Ledger Technologies can bring solutions for daily challenges in last-mile city logistics. We will help to define the focus in the PUC towards these daily challenges and support in testing new, enhanced supply chain technologies within the city of Leuven.

What is Kort’Om Leuven?

Kort'Om Leuven is a cooperative run by farmers who promote short chain in the Leuven region. They sell local food products through a web shop and thus facilitate the supply and demand in short chain. In addition, they are responsible for the full operational implementation of the trade via the web shop. On the one hand, you have the farmers who are ensured they receive a fair price for their products and can bundle their transport so they can offer products to customers together. On the other hand, you have the retailers and catering industry in Leuven. On Tuesdays and Fridays they can order farm-fresh and seasonal quality products online from farmers in Leuven and Flemish Brabant. The platform technology of the web shop is provided by Linked.Farm.

Role of Kort’Om Leuven in the Token project?

In Token, Kort’om Leuven represents the voice of the end users of the platform. They provide insights into current problems and how they deal with them today. Their task is to help shape the future solution and to test it in a real-life environment.

Linked farm

What is Linked.Farm?

Linked.Farm is a cooperative that provides the technology to facilitate the short chain through a platform. They want to organize the short chain efficiently and jointly, together with all the actors involved: eaters, farmers, communities (schools, hospitals, …), chefs, catering businesses, industrial kitchens and other (short chain) initiatives. The cooperative wants to be an open network to make qualitative and healthy food available from small farms in a simple way and through a fair process. By fair, they mean that the farmers are co-owners of the IT platform so that they get fair pay for their hard work. And sustainable because they ensure that fewer food kilometers and packaging is needed.

Role of Linked.Farm in the Token project?

Linked.Farm provides the practical implementation of the future technology. This implementation takes place in a real-life environment.


What is stad Leuven?

Leuven is a city in Flemish Brabant with five sub-municipalities: Leuven, Kessel-Lo, Heverlee, Wilsele and Wijgmaal. The city has an area of ​​56.63 km2 and has 102,132 inhabitants (Source: national register January 1, 2020). Leuven was awarded by the European Commission as the European Innovation Capital in 2020.

Role of stad Leuven in the Token project?

The City of Leuven facilitates the Token project on its territory. Leuven has specific mobility challenges because they work with a circulation plan and rigid window times when freight traffic is allowed in the city. In this context, the city wishes to experiment with a more dynamic way of granting access to their territory.

Joris Finck

Joris Finck

Innovation manager