Global Transformation with BlockChain: From Lab to App

This conference was held on

Date: November 16, 2018, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm
Location: AAAS Headquarters, 1200 New York Ave NW, Washington, DC 20005.

Pictures from the Workshop


The rise of blockchain has attracted the attention of academia, industry, and government and state agencies. As of 2018, over 1500 startup companies and corporations are working on blockchain solutions in different sectors such as finance, supply chain, manufacturing, and healthcare, etc. Despite its transformative potential, blockchain technology is yet to become mainstream. This is in part because the development and adoption of blockchains desire involvement from both developers and researchers with established experience in cryptography, security, and the theory of distributed systems. In addition, there are several challenges in blockchain research such as scalability and interoperability. Different challenges will also arise when deploying in different applications.

This workshop will discuss Blockchain technology research and development challenges by involving efforts from academia, industry, and government and state agencies. Specifically, it will have the following goals:

  • Provide a comprehensive overview of the state of the art blockchain technologies
  • Bring together various stakeholders in academia, industry, government and state agencies, and non-profit organizations, to share their experience in research and deployment challenges and opportunities;
  • Leverage the opportunity to foster inter-agency collaborations on blockchain research and adoption
  • Discuss the challenges and opportunities of deploying blockchains in different sectors such as food safety, IoT, and healthcare.

This workshop will offer a comprehensive view of both permissionless and permissioned blockchain technologies to participants with different expertise levels. In addition, it will summarize the blockchain research challenges and future directions, as well as recommendations for blockchain adoption and development.

The workshop is organized by NSF CARTA Center, US Department of Commerce National Technical Information Service (NTIS) and US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Our workshop is sponsored by NSF.

8:00 am 8:20 am Registration
8:20 am 8:30 am Opening remarks:
The workshop will open with opening remarks from representatives from AAAS, and CARTA.Speakers:Dr. Yelena Yesha, Distinguished Professor, CARTA Center Director.Dr. Jennifer Pearl, Science & Technology Policy Fellowships Director, AAAS.Dr. Karl V. Steiner, Vice President for Research, UMBC
8:30 am 9:00 am Invited talk 1

A distinguished speaker to discuss blockchain innovation from the government perspective

Mr. Anil John, Technical Director, Silicon Valley Innovation Program, Science and Technology Directorate, US Department of Homeland Security

9:00 am 10:00 am Lightning talks

Lightning talks and discussion to share real-life applications from government, industry, and academia.

Dr. Chaitan Baru, Senior Advisor of Data Science Research Initiatives, UC San Diego

Ms. Sherri Sokol, Innovation Lead, Defense Information Systems Agency (DOD)

Dr. Karuna Pande Joshi,  Assistant Professor, CARTA UMBC Site Director, UMBC

Mr. Andrei Lebedev, Engineer, Soramitsu

Ms. Heather Flannery, Co-Founder, Blockchain in Healthcare Global and Consensys

Moderator: Dr. Joanna Chan, Data Scientist, National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Department of Commerce

10:00 am 10:30 am Coffee Break
10:30 am 10:50 am Invited talk 2

A distinguished speaker to discuss blockchain innovation from the industry perspective

Mr. Gari Singh, CTO for blockchain. IBM

10:50 am 12:05 pm Use case roundtable

Panelists to share experience on blockchain use cases

Mr. Craig Fischer, Program Manager, Office of Financial Innovation and Transformation, Department of Treasury.

Mr. Jose Arietta, Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Ms. Michelle White, Director, Shared Services & IT Products Contract Operations, General Services Administration (GSA)

Ms. Silvana Rodriguez, Director for Strategic Partnerships in the Americas, ConsenSys.

Moderator: Dr. Justin Li, Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), Department of Homeland Security (DHS)

12:05 pm 12:25 pm Invited talk 3

A distinguished speaker to discuss ethical issues on blockchain applications

Dr. Cara LaPointe, Senior Fellow, Beeck Center for Social Impact & Innovation, Georgetown

12:25 pm 1:30 pm Lunch (provided) & networking
1:30 pm 1:40 pm NSF remarks

Introduction and welcome by Dr. Keith J. Bowman, Dean, College of Engineering and Information Technology, UMBC

NSF program director to share the research funding direction

Dr. Ann Von Lehman

1:40 pm 2:05 pm Research talk

Discuss blockchain innovation from the academia perspective

Dr. Haibin Zhang, Co-Director of Distributed Systems and Security Lab, UMBC

2:05 pm 3:20 pm Research Deep-Dive

Talks on the research findings and new directions in blockchain research

Dr. Jacob Mendel, Managing Director, The Hogeg Blockchain Research Institute, Tel Aviv University

Dr. Sisi Duan, Asst. Professor, UMBC

Mr. Michael Mylrea, DOE, PNNL

Moderator: Dr. Vandana Janeja, Associate Professor, UMBC

3:20 pm 3:45 pm Coffee Break
3:45 pm 5:00 pm Parallel roundtable discussions & report back

  • How can I bring blockchain to my organization? – to connect gov’t and industry
  • What is the next frontier in blockchain research? – to connect academia and industry
  • Other topics suggested by participants (unconference topics)
5:00 pm 5:10 pm Closing remarks

Dr. Keith J. Bowman, Dean, College of Engineering and Information Technology, UMBC

5:10 pm     7:30 pm   Reception and Networking

Organizing Committee

Dr. Yelena Yesha, Center Director
Dr. Karuna Pande Joshi, Site Director, UMBC
Dr. Vandana Janeja, Associate Professor, UMBC
Sisi Duan, Asst. Professor, IS, UMBC









Dr. Aryya Gangopadhyay, Professor and Chair, IS, UMBC
Dr. Haibin Zhang, Asst. Professor, CSEE, UMBC
Dr. Joanna Chan, Data Scientist, National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Department of Commerce
Dr. Justin Li, DHS S&T