Stuttgart / Wiesbaden, 5 April 2018 – Today, IT company GFT Technologies SE (GFT) and start-up MYTIGATE signed a cooperation agreement that is set to revolutionise the monitoring and tracking of pharmaceutical supply chains. The Business Administration / Aviation Management Research department of the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences is closely involved in this pioneering work. The aim of the collaboration is to create a Blockchain-based planning and tracking system utilising Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Both pharmaceutical and specialist logistics companies are potential clients. The new pharmaceutical supply chain tracking system enables users to document the planning of medication shipments and to then track them around the world in order to identify risks and both clearly monitor and better understand problems that may occur during transportation. The technology will make it possible to indicate temperature changes or delays predictably in the future, which will help to improve processes in the long term. This would lead, in turn, to the minimisation of errors within the supply chain and the reduction of costs for all parties involved.
The collaboration enables a fast start in terms of analysis, brainstorming and development. “We will determine potential options together and further develop the promising ones,” says Marika Lulay, CEO of GFT. The first step is to create a proof of concept for the Blockchain-based application. This includes the definition of the key requirements, costs and necessary development activities plus a proposed architectural design. Professor Dr. Yvonne Ziegler from the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences and co-initiator of MYTIGATE explains: “As a specialist start-up in risk management, we bring valuable pharmaceutical logistics expertise to the project – particularly with a view to specific applications in the risk-based planning of transportation and shipment tracking. We are also providing additional IT and data analyses for the feasibility study.” Lulay adds: “GFT is contributing the necessary Blockchain and technology expertise, plus the staff to program the software architectures.” A second phase aims to jointly develop a commercial solution.
Blockchain as a key technology
The DLT approach enables both secure and transparent tracking of various shipments using a single system that can be exploited collaboratively by various pharmaceutical and logistics companies. The fact that user rights can be regulated flexibly is a real advantage as this means that only specified people can access information about their shipments. In addition, the new planning and tracking system will generate data for MYTIGATE’s risk management platform in order to create key risk figures and provide information on the best routes for certain shipments.
MYTIGATE is the result of a project funded by the State of Hesse as part of the LOEWE3 innovative research initiative. The start-up aims to develop and operate a standardised, validated risk management platform for the pharmaceutical industry’s supply chain management. GFT and MYTIGATE are also working with the Research Consortium for Pharma Supply Chain Risk Management, which includes leading pharmaceutical and logistics companies (Bayer AG and Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co. KG, Frigo-Trans GmbH and GEFCO Forwarding Germany GmbH among others) as well as the Fulda University of Applied Sciences and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences.
Definition of distributed ledger technology
DLT is a special form of electronic data processing and storage. A distributed ledger is a decentralised database that allows users of a network to share read and write permissions. One form of distributed ledger design is the blockchain system.