The UPC participates in a European project to offer specialised training in blockchain

Researchers from the UPC’s Department of Network Engineering participate in the CHAISE project—funded as part of the European Union's Erasmus+ programme—to promote skill acquisition and development in blockchain technology. An online pilot course is now underway to validate its first contents.

Oct 15, 2023

Addressing the growing demand for knowledge and skills in blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) in Europe. This is the goal of the European project “A Blueprint for Sectoral Cooperation on Blockchain Skill Development” (CHAISE), funded by the Erasmus+ programme. It features a team of researchers from the Department of Network Engineering of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya - BarcelonaTech (UPC).

The four-year project will produce professionals capable of facing the challenges of and leveraging blockchain technology in a range of fields, such as the financial industry, supply chain, data management and cybersecurity. The project focuses on developing specialised training programmes; organising seminars, workshops and practicals on blockchain technology; and creating educational resources. It will also assess the skill needs of the labour market and the professional profiles required to face the challenges of the blockchain technology.

First pilot underway
The researchers have analysed the need for blockchain workforce and identified three emerging job profiles: blockchain developer, architect and manager. Based on these profiles, the project team have developed a pilot MOOC called “Mastering Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technologies”, which includes four common modules and eight profile-specific specialised modules.

The UPC team have created the content corresponding to smart contract, cryptography and game theory modules. The pilot aims to receive feedback from participants to refine the current curriculum prior to its official launch.

The CHAISE project brings together 23 partners—universities, institutions, research centres and companies—from 12 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain. The UPC team consists of scientific coordinator José Luis Muñoz Tapia and researchers Carla Brugulat, Oscar Esparza, Juan Hernández and Miquel Soriano.

A rising market
A blockchain is a decentralised and distributed system that is used to record and verify transactions ensuring security and immutability of data. It works as a data structure in which each block stores a series of records or transactions and is cryptographically back-linked, thus forming a continuous chain. It is a technology with multiple and surprising applications, such as monetary transactions, certifying the origin of a product in a supply chain, guaranteeing e-voting security and managing identities, copyrights or intellectual property rights.

The Annual Blockchain Skills Forecasts, developed under the CHAISE project, estimates that there were 361,767 blockchain-related workers in the European Union in 2021. The report also highlights that the demand for blockchain skills in Europe will grow by 30,000 people between 2021 and 2026 and that the highest rates will occur in France (10,470 professionals), Germany (3,879), Spain (2,115) and Italy (2,101).