The €417bn Dutch asset manager APG has entered a partnership with technical research institute TNO and Maastricht University to investigate whether artificial intelligence and blockchain technology could benefit its operational management.

The research will also explore ways APG can reduce carbon emissions.

A spokesman for APG said the asset manager was considering committing a significant part of its innovation budget to the study.

He said it was too early, however, to specify what APG expected from the new technologies, and that the project would last for years.

“The technologies are certainly promising, and we can’t ignore them,” he said.

“After all, if we already knew the outcome of the research, the study wouldn’t be necessary.”

He added that APG was keen for other companies and start-ups to participate in the research.

The research is to be conducted at the ‘smart services’ campus in Heerlen, in which APG also has a stake.

APG has set up a dedicated team – headed by Joep Beukers, its innovation director – to implement the project.