Italy flag with blockchain concept.

Italy sets up $46M fund to incentivize blockchain projects

The Italian Ministry of Economy Development, Ministero dello sviluppo economico (MISE), has announced plans to provide financial support for projects that utilize innovative technologies that are of interest to the government, of which blockchain is one.

In a statement, the government ministry said that the incentive program has an initial budget of €45 million (about $46 million at the time of writing). The fund is available to companies and private or public research firms of all sizes and will subsidize expenses and costs from €500,000 (worth $512,150) to at most 2 million euros ($2,048,600).

However, the entities have to be working on projects that deploy blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), or artificial intelligence (AI) technology in “strategic priority industries” to be eligible to apply. These industries include industry and manufacturing, education, agriculture, health, environment and infrastructure, culture and tourism, logistics and mobility, information security, and aerospace.

“We support companies’ investments in cutting-edge technologies with the aim of encouraging the modernization of production systems through management models that are increasingly interconnected, efficient, secure, and fast,” the head of the ministry Giancarlo Giorgetti said in the statement.

He added that to remain competitive, the manufacturing industry must constantly innovate and use the potential of new technologies.

The subsidy program is made possible by two key decrees made by the government—one in December 2021 and the second back in June this year. MISE has also published application guidelines for eligible firms and will start accepting applications from September 21, 2022.

Italy’s journey with blockchain technology adoption

Italy has long been warming up to the potential of blockchain technology. Back in 2018, the country set up a national blockchain board made of 30 multi-disciplinary experts to help it better understand the burgeoning technology.

The country’s push to provide regulatory clarity for the digital assets market predates even the creation of the blockchain board and has continued to evolve over the years. In another digital assets-related decree made this year by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, Italy reviewed its digital assets firms’ registration requirements.

According to a report by JD Supra, the decree has set clearer requirements for providing virtual assets services in the country. The passage of the decree has helped facilitate the reentry of Binance into the Italian market, Bloomberg noted.

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