Global commerce platform, Tradeshift, has announced an “innovation lab and incubator” directed at exploring and transforming business networks, supply chains, and global trade.
The initiative, which will be known as Tradeshift Frontiers, will work through the application of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, distributed ledgers and the Internet of things. Frontiers will also engage in business development enhancing partnerships to drive commercial goals.
“Our goal is simple and singular: to significantly impact B2B commerce and global supply chains in the next five years,” said Gert Sylvest, co-founder and GM Frontiers, Tradeshift. “We will leverage emerging technologies to make trade more inclusive, empowering, transparent and sustainable.”
Rather than shut its R&D and research operations behind closed doors, Tradeshift has structured its lab to encourage knowledge sharing that is global and distributed in nature.
“With Frontiers, we aim to bring the transformative potential of these technologies into the hands of every company in the network, no matter their size or role in the supply chain,” Sylvest said.
“That also means unlocking greater value for small businesses and their trading partners to bring them on equal footing with the companies that dominate the digital supply chains today.”
Blockchain is among the first focus areas for the Frontiers lab initiative.
Last October, Tradeshift joined the Hyperledger project as a governing member. The collaboration will bridge blockchains to the Tradeshift platform and help drive industry-wide impact. In commerce, every interaction between trading parties is subject to questions about trust and transparency. Blockchains, in essence, enable new incentive models to collaborate across the supply chain.
“The use cases we’re working through Frontiers cover a very wide variety of themes, including supply chain financing, asset liquidity, and supply chain transparency,” Sylvest said. “There is so much more potential than just cryptocurrencies.”
Tradeshift said it would be working to release prototypes, apps and services over the coming months that will “highlight the potential of the future Tradeshift platform”.