Matthieu Merchadou Melki is the new guest in this interview. Hosted by Dinis Guarda, both experts go through smart city developments today, especially in Florida, where Matthieu is building smart city solutions through his Miami Beta City project and Smart Florida. He is recognised as an impact Entrepreneur, Blockchain Evangelist and expert in the areas of Digital transformation, Logistics, Real Estate and Smart Cities.
1. An introduction from you - background, overview, education...
2. Career highlights
3. Your company, organisation and focus
4. What are your work priorities
5. About Blockchain and its impact
6. Defining Smart City
7. Smart Florida. How it started and collaborations between governments and companies
8. Explaining the Miami Beta City project
9. The NOOSphere solution
10. Future vision
· Graduated in Law (Sorbonne) and started working in the financial industry With BNP Paribas He moved to the USA in 1998 where he worked at Paine Webber. He then became a broker at the age of 23. Back in Europe I worked for UBS in Paris on Property. He wanted to do the same he was doing in UBS but on his own.
· He saw an opportunity to improve Miami as he saw the potential the city had to become an important tech hub (Focused on downtown Miami where Bernard Arnaud and Swire Group were investing). He saw a gap between downtown Miami and the shore line where the price differential was on three times and created Winwood Fund. Core to his strategy was European style community based property development .
· The differences between Europe, France and the US, Florida. In France we have a more collective mind when it comes to communal areas within the cities and it extrapolates to business and human relationships too. In the US it is very different, the idea is completely opposite. Individuals are above common good within the city boundaries, for example.
· About blockchain. I see blockchain as the new internet. The potential of blockchain technologies can bring not only data insights but give value to businesses, citizens and governments. Blockchain is the foundation that would allow us to move to a new era of collaboration and the use of technology.
· Finance and blockchain are very related. Blockchain in fact powers a new decentralized finance with cryptocurrencies and tokenisation. Tokens are a new way for exchanging value and that is one of the mantras of finance.
· About blockchain and smart city in Miami. We are approaching our work towards making Miami a smart city from a 3-way perspective: supply chain, real states and healthcare. We are trying to bring the tokenisation concept to these three aspects and that includes from paying taxes, etc. In the real states space, for example, we are working on solutions through tokenisation related to bringing liquidity to an industry that does not always have access to it.
· What is smart Florida. It started in 2017 with Miami Beta City. The idea of this project is to bring closer industries and citizens and work together more efficiently. The creation of an environment of a beta testing solution that creates harmony between citizens, officials and industries. That beta test consisted in creating simulations to develop solutions to, for example, lowering pollution created by traffic. Our approach was to see the city as an organism where all systems had to work together, efficiently and taking into consideration all players involved, and, of course, through digital means.
· I carried this project to the Florida blockchain foundation and all the testing too. So we already had the basics for it, including blockchain solutions for supply chain logistics, transport and industries. This led to the creation of Smart Florida.
· Relationships with city officials, universities, businesses, etc. It was very challenging in the beginning. We went through many workshops, educational events, with the city council and different departments. We started to work in supply chain logistics and we presented the different solutions we were working on. Companies and governments understand the need to make this supply chain logistic more efficient and after they were more open to the solutions we provided.
· We now see a shift from competition to collaboration to build partnerships and work together in improving certain common areas that affect multiple industries with many businesses involved, like infrastructure or logistics. Companies and governments understand this need and they are working together. My project after all is about creating a sense of collectivity and common goals.
· A Smart City for me is a community of companies and individuals that are willing to work in the same space. And of course, powered by digital solutions. In a smart city, data is critical to create better efficiencies. I have seen that in Miami, where the port and the airport are already using the solutions we created.
· The NOOSphere solution through different technologies like AI, IoT, blockchain, building information monitoring, machine learning, sensors etc all of them working together to create a digital and efficient solution. As it uses blockchain and smart contract technology, all parties (companies) can rely on it and automate certain common issues that normally take a lot of time and stress.
· About COVID-19. Blockchain could have help with this pandemic. For example, a blockchain powered supply chain of healthcare resources. In fact, the connectivity part is really missing in this pandemic. Blockchain could’ve helped with that as well as improving the efficiency of different industries and the disruption they have experienced in the global supply chain.Collaboration and community based on all business down 50% and in order to survive “one community one goal” as Miami Daid did. We need to organise as citizens to ensure governments want tot take over our data and privacy. Federated councils and business agencies.
Since his arrival to Miami as a financial advisor for Paine Webber in 1998, Matthieu Merchadou Melki has been excited by the city’s potential to become one of the premier international cities in the world.
After years in real estate in Europe and Miami redeveloping properties Matthieu Merchadou Melki decided to change path in his career driven by the realization of the amount of disruption that was coming.
Matthieu Merchadou Melki decided to invest his energy in something impactful for the city that could become a catalyst of this change using Miami Dade potential transformation in it’s 2 economic engines. Matthieu Merchadou Melki created “Noos labs” a coworking space for urban tech for the real estate and logistic sector (www.nooslabs.tech).
Noos labs got awarded the keys of Miami Dade County by the Miami Dade Beacon Council (the economic development partnership of Miami Dade ) and Mayor Gimenez for the “Miami Beta City” concept. A 10 year plan to make Miami Metropolis a smart city (see in Noos labs description).
The Florida Blockchain Foundation came about in early 2019. As Executive Director and Founder of the Florida Blockchain Foundation Matthieu helped make Florida a Tech hub using Blockchain technologies as an infrastructure layer using Miami as a testbed for solutions for the supply chain logistics and real estate industries. The Foundation is helping to build a regional collaborative platform where digital assets and digital models of the main logistics hub and shipments are created and critical information on status and location can be stored on distributed ledgers to create smart contracts.
Smart Florida - Florida Blockchain Foundation
Smart City Florida is a foundation committed to promote blockchain technology as an infrastructure layer between companies to exchange value and datas. The Foundation believes that a regional development per industry will benefit the State of Florida in terms of efficiency and jobs creations; starting with the Supply Chain sector which not only is the driver of South Florida's economy but also one of the most promising uses of distributed ledger technologies. Miami being one of the largest freight hubs in the USA serving North America, the Caribbean market, South America and now far east and Asia it's a natural fit for the sector. The Foundation has made partnerships with large organizations like Miami Dade Beacon Council, Florida Custom Brokers and Freight forwarders association, BITA (Blockchain Alliance for Transportation) and is organizing workshops on digital transformation to educate companies on how the technology can be implemented (coupled with IOT, AI, machine learning) and become an infrastructure layer for the entire sector.
The effort will be duplicated in Real Estate and Health Care working with the largest stakeholders to create the protocols and enrolling companies through workshops series after having assessed the needs, costs and benefits of the technology.
NOOS Labs stands for collective mind in Greek. “The Beta City” project is a 10 year plan to transform the city using technologies in the sectors that impact the city the most : real estate and logistics. By creating a collaborative infrastructure platform (The "Noospshere", a motherboard financed by the main stakeholders in each industry) and using technologies such as BIM, Drones,AR/VR and natural user interfaces,we can build the city of the future based on the principle of security, privacy, sustainability, upgradability and resilience using blockchain technologies as a new infrastructure layer. Noos Labs got awarded the Keys of Miami Dade County by Mayor Gimenez in 2018.
Links and sources of information
Hernaldo Turrillo is a writer and author specialised in innovation, AI, DLT, SMEs, trading, investing and new trends in technology and business. He has been working for ztudium group since 2017. He is the editor of openbusinesscouncil.org, tradersdna.com, hedgethink.com, and writes regularly for intelligenthq.com, socialmediacouncil.eu. Hernaldo was born in Spain and finally settled in London, United Kingdom, after a few years of personal growth. Hernaldo finished his Journalism bachelor degree in the University of Seville, Spain, and began working as reporter in the newspaper, Europa Sur, writing about Politics and Society. He also worked as community manager and marketing advisor in Los Barrios, Spain. Innovation, technology, politics and economy are his main interests, with special focus on new trends and ethical projects. He enjoys finding himself getting lost in words, explaining what he understands from the world and helping others. Besides a journalist, he is also a thinker and proactive in digital transformation strategies. Knowledge and ideas have no limits.