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IEEE and The Accord Project Partner to Develop Techno-Legal Standards for Smart Contract Applications

The partnership will begin with development of a standards framework for optimizing the supply chain to drive industry adoption.

IEEE Standards Association
Lloyd Green, Director, Engagement Marketing & Creative Community Services
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PISCATAWAY, NJ, 20 February 2018 - IEEE, the world's largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for humanity, the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA) and the Accord Project, today announced the intention to develop techno-legal standards that address smart contract applications in a wide variety of areas, beginning with supply chain operations. Initially, the collaboration will involve creating a 12-member working team of critical stakeholders that includes supply chain operational executives, blockchain architecture technologists, smart contract developers, legal experts, and industry advocacy groups, in the hopes of ensuring a balanced consensus throughout the standards development process.

“Business is becoming increasingly dependent on data and automation which makes enterprise-focused smart legal contracts an important tool to optimize process, lower costs, and deliver more value while operating on and off distributed ledgers,” explains Houman Shadab, Co-Director of the Accord Project. “Teaming up with the IEEE Standards Association will create the path for broad-based industry acceptance of the technology, making smart legal contracts a critical component of the digital ecosystem. This collaboration brings together two protocols in a manner that greatly benefits commercial relationships, supply chains, and the advancement of blockchain.”

Today, the worlds of business and technology are complex, fast moving, and present many opportunities for improvement using smart legal contracts. Global supply chain systems in particular are complex, requiring transparency, traceability and auditability. Despite the “digital wave,” hybrid paper and electronic documentation methods are still largely in play for the audit and management of supply chains. As a result, a gap exists for loss that can also hinder efforts to accurately measure success, track inventory, and more. Once formed, the working team will first explore the uses and related barriers to application within the supply chain field. Use cases will examine tracking products, payments, vendor agreements, and more.

“Defining the viability of smart contract applications utilizing a techno-legal standard is essential to drive industry-wide acceptance,” explains Alpesh Shah, senior director of Global Business Strategy & Intelligence at the IEEE Standards Association. “With this in mind, our collaboration with the Accord Project ensures compatibility of approaches towards business transactions via distributed ledger technologies such as blockchain. Further, the relationship with the Accord Project demonstrates the importance of organizations that are pioneering standards for blockchain based systems collaborate in a manner that continues to serve both industry and end-users, as well as the advancement of these technologies for benefit of humanity.”

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About the Accord Project
The Accord Project is the leading organization for the development of techno-legal standards for smart legal contracts and distributed ledger applications in the legal industry. The consortium operates in collaboration with Hyperledger, IAACM, Decentralized Identity Foundation and a number of leading trade associations, organizations, and world leading law firms. The Project incubates the standard distributed ledger protocol for the legal industry. The purpose of the Project is to enable lawyers, law firms, trade associations, and corporates to help establish open standards for the future of contracting; and to produce open-source code for smart legal contracts and distributed ledger usage in the legal industry. To learn more about the Accord Project, visit its website, follow the Project on Twitter, and use and contribute to its open source code on Github.

About the IEEE Standards Association The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body within IEEE, develops consensus standards through an open process that engages industry and brings together a broad stakeholder community. IEEE standards set specifications and best practices based on current scientific and technological knowledge. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of over 1,200 active standards and over 650 standards under development. For more information visit http://standards.ieee.org.

About IEEE
IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. Through its highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities, IEEE is the trusted voice in a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers, and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power, and consumer electronics. Learn more at http://www.ieee.org.