Meet the Team: A conversation with CTO Vikas Pandey
September 1st, 2020
Since 2017, Excess Materials Exchange has been developing the necessary technology to facilitate and scale the exchange of materials between industries and sectors. The development of our platform is made possible by our CTO Vikas Pandey, who leads the EME tech team. We sat down with him to discuss some of his work, and his views on EME.
Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself ?
I am Vikas Pandey and I am the Chief Technology Officer at Excess Materials Exchange. I lead a passionate team of 7 tech experts at EME with whom I develop and continuously improve the EME platform. My role is to build and lead the technology strategy of EME as well as to integrate the innovations necessary to scale our platform.
What was your motivation to join EME?
I have always been a technology enthusiast and love to contribute to the development of decentralised solutions. I like exploring how new technologies can be applied to solve complex societal problems and generate business advantage. I’m convinced that real progress is when society can benefit from a contribution. Emerging technologies bring huge potential to solve big problems, such as scaling the circular economy to manage our resources more efficiently.
What do you think is unique about the EME platform - from a technical perspective?
There’s probably 3 main reasons, from my point of view. First of all, EME’s platform was designed to match materials from any industry to another, using a common language: The Resources Passport. This creates an ecosystem of materials, all linked together to make optimal matches. The ability to link materials together and create a semantic web is something that definitely sets EME apart from typical marketplaces where you just buy and sell.
Secondly, we’ve worked hard to make sure that the platform ensures security and privacy of material information. To do this, we use blockchain to execute smart contracts. This way organizations can share material information with potential buyers without compromising privacy or their Intellectual Property which is often one of the first questions companies will ask when we are implementing EME’s marketplace for them.
Lastly, I think the platform is unique because it is scalable by design. By combining human intelligence and Artificial Intelligence, EME is designed to create a virtuous cycle. As more information is registered and matches are made, the EME platform will start learning more about all the possibilities of circular matches. And this in real time. This is really interesting to implement from a technical perspective, and a nice way to show the need for this technology in scaling the circular economy.
A lot of people usually ask us about Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence on the platform. Can you tell us more about how EME uses such technology?
Sure! Let’s start with Blockchain. We needed to have transparency and traceability of information on the platform in order to be able to make matches. But also ensure privacy and security, something very important for most companies. So we really saw an opportunity and effective use for blockchain technology for our platform. Using blockchain on our platform, we are able to facilitate material and information flows throughout an entire supply chain. This makes sure companies maintain control, and only share what they feel comfortable with. The linked-list of blocks within blockchain provides the immutability we need on our platform to prevent fraud and create trust and transparency of events.
Then there’s Artificial Intelligence. What we discovered at EME is that many of the current circular initiatives are largely dependent on coincidental matchmaking. In order to speed up the transition to a circular economy we need to scale. Fast. We saw an opportunity for Artificial Intelligence and collective intelligence. I already mentioned the goal of this virtuous cycle for matchmaking, which I think makes EME’s platform so unique. So for example, an organisation has filled out a Resources Passport for its ceiling tile waste, and is immediately shown that it would be most high value to recycle them into new ceiling tiles, with a list of companies who are able to do this in their region.
What are the next steps for you and your team?
Our team is currently working on the full integration of the Valuation Module to the platform before the end of the year. This will ensure that platform’s users have easier access to the financial and environmental impact associated with materials and products matches. 2021 will be a pivotal year for us - our team will continue its hard work to develop the EME external marketplace. We look forward to more and more organizations joining the EME movement and to continuously improve the platform so that it fits the need for tailored-made but standard solutions.
What are you the most proud of at EME?
The entire EME team! Everyone at EME is intrinsically motivated to make a positive impact with the platform idea. I strongly believe that the results we have seen over the last two years are a great testimony of the dedication of our team.
Do you have any recommendations for any tech enthusiast to learn more about EME?
Of course! We recently published a White Paper which lists and describes in detail which technological tools we are working with and why! I recommend this read for anyone curious about the use of exponential technologies for the circular economy. You can also follow our Linkedin Page - we always post conferences or podcasts which explains our technological tools!