Outsourcing of research and development (R&D) currently accounts for a small fraction of global GDP.
Traditionally, this type of R&D stems from basic research leading to applied research which, in turn, leads to development before ending in some form of commercialisation.
As the percentage of R&D is expected to significantly grow over the coming years, it is unlikely this linear or pipeline model approach to innovation that has served in the past will be sufficient to meet the demand.
There is recognition that a more dynamic structure, where the various actors can interact at will, would increase knowledge sharing and result in innovative breakthroughs and creation of wealth.
Connecty is looking to streamline the relationship between businesses and research house by serving as the missing link between holders of knowledge and those responsible for transforming knowledge into innovation.
This knowledge ecosystem is setting out to accommodate all scenarios on the spectrum: from a short request for an expert’s opinion to a comprehensive research study that may stretch over a considerable period of time.
It is intended this will be open to all areas of knowledge and all fields of study ranging from physics, engineering and IT systems to ecology, environment and society plus everything in between.
Those seeking answers will be rewarded with solutions to their queries, while those providing the answers will have a platform to showcase their knowledge, increase their visibility and earn payment once a task is successfully completed.
The French team behind the Connecty project intend to focus initially on home ground before quickly widening to include the rest of the EU and subsequently into the global market.
Within the platform, the process of use can be separated into three main stages:
1. Formalisation: the knowledge creator creates their profile in order to best showcase their skills and knowledge. The innovator asks their question in their own language to define the problem they want solving, directing their query to knowledge creators they believe are best suited to the task.
2. Agreement: the creator of knowledge either approves or refuses the request. If the task will take time to complete (several days or even weeks) the terms of the contract are subject to rapid negotiation about the duration, cost, special conditions, etc. of the agreement.
3. Contract: a smart-contract is created specifying both the details of the contract and ensuring its successful completion.
To acquire knowledge, innovators will need to spend the platform’s Connecty token (CTY). Those providing the answers will receive payment in CTY.
As would be expected on this type of platform that relies on trusting the information provided by users, reputation is valued highly. To ensure participants adhere to the expected level of conduct, reputation capital in the form of CTY tokens will be staked to guarantee the reliability of a supplier and the seriousness of a buyer. The amount will increase or decrease according to the individuals successes and failures on the platform.
White-Paper and Roadmap
Until June, a 30 page document titled the litepaper served as the company’s white-paper but a more comprehensive 77 page version has just been released that includes all the pre-requisite sections.
The roadmap shows that a Beta version of the platform is expected in Q3 this year with a full version released by the end of the year.
This version will see physics and chemistry being added to the specialised areas of knowledge which will already include information science, economics, engineering and systems.
By Q2 next year, the project team claim that there will be 100,000 users of the platform climbing to half a million by the end of 2019.
A version open to the European Union will go live around the same time with a full international release scheduled for 2020, doubling the anticipated number of users.
In addition to the company evolution roadmap, a page is devoted to outlining the 5 year plan for the Research & Development schedule for the artificial intelligence (AI) element of the project – arguably the key element of the entire project itself in terms of giving the project its competitive edge.
In each of these stages outlined in the platform section above, AI features will be used for “…the extraction of concepts and recommendations (text-matching or collaborative filtering) in order to facilitate the writing, the description and the search for qualified information and experts.”
The Connecty CTY token is Ethereum-based and will cost 1 CTY = 0.00002 ETH (equivalent to $0.01 at the time of writing).
A total supply of 10 billion tokens will be issued, with 5,500,000,000 being on sale throughout the duration of the private sale, pre-ICO and ICO, with bonuses decreasing from 40% to 0%.
The purpose of the ICO has different goals depending on funds received.
A soft cap of 1 million Euros (1,000 ETH) has been set as a threshold for the project to proceed. If, at the end of the public offer the amount raised does not reach this, any funds collected will be fully returned to investors.
A middle cap has been set at €10 million – 20,000 ETH – which would provide the platform with the means for rapid growth in R&D, technical and commercial development.
The hard or technical cap is 44 million euros, which is equivalent to 88,000 ETH and the maximum technically achievable by the collection, and this is specified as the required amount to aim for a quick international opening.
Growth projections based on soft-cap, middle-cap and hard-cap scenarios are also provided by the team.
A total supply of 10 billion CTY tokens will be issued, 55% of which will be available in the ICO. A further 11% will be held for the current team and any future employee will be subject to a gradually reducing lock-up period from between 12-36 months. (A 6 month period also applies to early adopters from the private sale).
As can be seen in the pie chart, Blue Horizon features prominently, being the legal entity behind the project : The Blue Horizon SAS registered at the RCS Lyon, SIREN N ° 838973568.
Any profits realised by the commercial company Blue Horizon will be distributed as follows:
• 33% reinvested in platform development (R&D, technical and commercial).
• 33% redistributed to employees.
• 33% given to the Blue Horizon Foundation to support projects.
• 1% distributed to shareholders.
A large team totalling over 60 people has been assembled to launch this ICO, including 12 advisors – the vast majority of whom appear to be French.
Although the white-paper unfortunately provides little information about each member, the sheer number involved is a sign of how serious the intentions are for this project and should help to ensure the platform performs well in the initial target area, France.
The website is currently missing individual bios, and the team arguably could benefit from a larger international component within its ranks.
President of the company, Stephane Chometton, is described as “…the project binding element, and the indispensable engine for the success of the project.” He appears to be an enigmatic character as his LinkedIn profile shows he has more than double the followers than the company itself has in other channels, but no previous business activity is shown apart from his association with Blue Horizon and Connecty – a little more transparency wouldn’t go amiss here.
Fortunately, other members of the lead team have a more visible footprint and can be verified through embedded profiles and wider project exposure on social media, video and even radio outlets.
Technical Director Julien Brodier is also the CTO of Talium, a middleware and blockchain integrator that has also been onboarded as an official partner of the Connecty project.
As one would expect for a project based around the transfer of knowledge, academically the team as a whole are highly qualified. The CEO, Olivier Alirol, for example holds a PhD in nuclear physics and R&D Director Samuel Tronçon was a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at CNRS.
Vocationally, much of the top team’s experience appears to be as business entrepreneurs or advisors and consultants for top tier companies based in France.
At the time of writing, awareness of the project appears limited at under 4,000 Telegram members and a similar number of followers on Twitter and Discord. Unlike other projects, however, these numbers appear to be organic at this early stage and not the result of airdrop bounties – generally a good sign.
Such a project, however, generally deserves a bit more recognition – the team will likely need to focus its efforts on expanding its appeal outside of the European block; a quick social media search results in limited results for English-speaking and Asia-based demographics.
Moving forward, around 5% of the total supply of tokens, representing approximately €5 million, will be used to kickstart and maintain an active community on the platform.
This will include targeted innovators, such as SMEs, start-ups, incubators and accelerators and knowledge creators from universities, laboratories and grandes écoles as well as individual doctors, academics, post graduate students and researchers.
In addition to powering the early stages of the concept, it is hoped these initial users will act as peer ambassadors for the platform.
While the talented team have come up with an attractive and effective platform to take R&D into the mainstream, the low level approach to pre-ICO marketing could mean the 44 million Euro hard-cap they are looking for will be a challenge to achieve at this stage.
If that hurdle can be cleared, or at least the quarter-sized medium-cap of €10 million, then the allocation of a proportion of tokens to galvanise use of the platform should bode well for the all-important first year.
Looking further ahead, the development of the AI component is recognised by Connecty as being key in separating them from the competition. Providing their AI roadmap can be adhered to and the translation engines and matching algorithms function as intended the company should be confident of achieving significant market share.
In summary, Connecty is an interesting concept that deserves wider coverage and attention – and will need it in order to succeed. If the current team can expand their pre-ICO marketing reach and hit at least their medium-cap target, then this will likely qualify as a blockchain one-to-watch.