Australian government offers $6M in grants to innovative blockchain teams

The Australian government has opened applications for grants  up to $3 million each in funding to blockchain projects targeting supply chain tracking in the minerals industry and tax tracking in the food and beverage sector.

Applications are open until April 29, with any sole trader, partnership, publicly-funded research organization, or entity incorporated in Australia that possesses an Australian Business Number eligible to apply.

The money will be used to fund two distinct pilots. The Food and Beverage Provenance pilot hopes to support a team addressing the complexities associated with spirits producers complying with excise taxation.

The Critical Minerals Pilot will support a project seeking to bolster supply chain integrity for the industry, and will also expect contributions to Australia’s National Ethical Certification Scheme to prove the provenance of locally produced minerals exported to international markets. The announcement noted:

“We expect that successful applications will be a collaboration between multiple organizations, including regulators.”

Applicants must demonstrate their projects meet the needs of the two pilots, meet the needs of regulators, reduce compliance burdens for businesses, and will support Australia’s blockchain start-up community.

“Your blockchain product will be unique, add value, and not duplicate products already in the market,” the document added.

Applicants must also demonstrate the viability and security of their platforms — including whether their blockchain has ever been the subject of a 51% attack — and how information submitted to their protocol is vetted and verified.

The Australian government has been proactive in encouraging development of its emerging DLT sector since unveiling its five-year National Blockchain Roadmap in early 2020.

In November, the government launched a trial using blockchain technology to share intergovernmental documents between local public servants and their counterparts in Singapore.

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