Power grid security blockchain initiative secures $1M grant in US

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded software firm InfoBeyond Technology LLC over $1 million to support its research on power grid security on the blockchain.

The phase II research and development grant was awarded by the Department of Energy for a project called “Gridchain: An Auditable Blockchain for Smart Grid Data Integrity and Immutability.”

Gridchain aims to develop data security infrastructure within a large-scale power network. The project hopes to make power grid infrastructure more secure to external threats such as hacking.

Bin Xie, the founder of InfoBeyond and principal investigator on the project, said, “Gridchain, a blockchain-based technology, uses techniques that ensure the integrity and immutability of power grid data and provides a critical infrastructure with an entirely new level of resiliency to cybersecurity threats.”

“Furthermore, it allows distributed intelligence and grid-edge interoperability at the circuit level, empowered by a distributed architecture for grid data exchange.”

The grant was awarded through the Department of Energy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, under phase II “Continue R&D for Prototypes or Processes”.

The project is funded to run for two years, after which it is hoped the technology will be in place to deliver on the aims of integrity and immutability in power grid infrastructure.

The grant is the latest example of governments backing innovative businesses in blockchain technology, with blockchain research and development funding a particular focus for government agencies worldwide.

In securing the funding, InfoBeyond becomes the 92nd business across 31 different states to have been backed by the Department of Energy’s small business investment programs.

A total of $116 million has been distributed by the department so far in supporting similar research and development activities.

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