press release
Published: 05 February 2019

University of Surrey kicks off €5million Europe-wide testbed for Blockchain

By Robert Blevin

A new collaborative project that will support startups and small-to-medium-sized-enterprises (SMEs) in using Blockchain technologies to boost their businesses has been awarded €5 million funding from the European Union.

Blockstart unites the University of Surrey with SETsquared Surrey, and partners across Europe, to harness the power of this exciting technology and to drive small business innovation in the areas of health, logistics and agrifood.  Blockchain technologies will help to make sure that SMEs’ work remains secure and efficient – whether it is protecting their data or tracking and invoicing goods.

Many SMEs find it difficult to adopt new technologies because the scale of their business is often too small. The Blockstart project is designed to change this. Working together, partners form an international ecosystem of business networks, incubators and blockchain experts. They will identify and take on the greatest challenges facing SMEs in health, logistics and agrifood. This ecosystem then provides business support, networking opportunities and a testing environment.

SETsquared Surrey, based in the Surrey Research Park, will provide SMEs with business development and coaching services so they can plan effectively and adapt to their ever-changing markets. Blockstart will also use the University of Surrey’s world leading blockchain test bed to help advise SMEs on technologies and R&D opportunities.

SETsquared is an enterprise partnership between the universities of Surrey, Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Southampton that nurtures technology-based businesses throughout their lifecycle, from idea through to investment and scale-up.

Professor John Collomosse, Professor of Computer Vision at the University of Surrey’s Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing leading on Surrey’s Blockchain testbed, said: “We are delighted to be part of this collaborative project, bringing our expertise in new technologies, especially artificial intelligence and blockchain, to the table. We will be helping small businesses to test new blockchain solutions, in a way that safeguards their business interests.”

Caroline Fleming, Head of Incubation at SETsquared Surrey, said: “This project is a great opportunity for small business to test and integrate state-of-the-art technologies in their current and future business models. SETsquared will be there to support small businesses in any way we can.”


Companies that are interested in the Blockstart project can register their interest by emailing

The following parties are involved in the Blockstart project:

  • Brightlands Smart Services Campus (lead, Netherlands)
  • Windesheim University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands)
  • Medicen Paris Region (France)
  • Eastern Netherlands Development Company (Netherlands)
  • Multitel (Belgium)
  • BioRegio STERN (Germany)
  • University of Surrey (Great Britain)
  • Option Public (France)
  • ChainPoint (Netherlands)
  • Bax & Company (intermediary) 

Share what you've read?

Media Contacts

External Communications and PR team
Phone: +44 (0)1483 684380 / 688914 / 684378
Out of hours: +44 (0)7773 479911