Australia offers $4.6M to blockchain pilots targeting mineral supply chain, food industry

The government of Australian is offering A$3 million (US$2.3 million) in grants to two pilots that will develop blockchain-based solutions targeting the mineral supply chain and food and beverage sectors.

Through its Blockchain Pilot Grants program, the government is offering the funding in a bid to demonstrate the potential for blockchain to reduce regulatory compliance burden for businesses. It will offer the funding to two projects, which can either be a business or a publicly funded research organization.

In its announcement, the government revealed that the objective of the blockchain pilots will include reducing compliance costs for businesses, promoting blockchain literacy, developing blockchain solutions for the government, and supporting the inclusion of blockchain in broader policy work.

The first area of focus will be critical minerals, with the applicants required to build supply chain integrity and help Australia’s critical minerals businesses to get more of their products to international markets. The second will focus on food and beverage provenance, specifically targeting excise tax on spirit production. Applicants must seek to address the challenges of complying with excise tax regulations throughout spirit production and supply.

To be eligible, applicants must include one or more Australian blockchain startups in some particular aspect of the project. The application period ends on April 29.

As CoinGeek reported two weeks ago, the funding will be done through the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources. “It is designed to demonstrate the benefits that technology can bring and help bring along changes amongst regulatory culture,” Tim Bradley, a general manager in the department, said.

The Australian government project is one of many across the world seeking to empower and educate blockchain developers as the technology continues to find its place in society. In the Bitcoin ecosystem, the Bitcoin Association has been on the frontline in developer empowerment. 

The Switzerland-based non-profit organization has been behind the very successful Bitcoin SV Hackathons which pool participants from across the globe. Many of the participants have singled out the Hackathon as the foundation to successful careers in the Bitcoin industry. Most of the projects that have made it into the Hackathon have also gone on to become wildly popular, including the inaugural winner BitPing (formerly UptimeSV) and TonicPow.

The Association has organized several other events, competitions and programs, all geared towards growing the ecosystem. The Bitcoin SV DevCon, which was held mid-last year, was a huge success, bringing together some of the leading minds in the ecosystem. Its most recent project is the Bitcoin SV Academy, which launched the Introduction to Bitcoin Development online course days ago.

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