The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is planning to offer support to anti-counterfeiting solutions from blockchain startups with the fund of about $800,000.
The non-dilutive funding which is to be distributed over four phases, on Tuesday via its Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) was announced by the DHS, through its unit Science and Technology Directorate (S&T). Non-dilutive funding referred to a situation whereby an industrial body doesn’t have to sell equity in order to receive financing.
The funding program is linked to the DHS’s November appeal which was “Preventing Forgery and Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses”, through which the agency is working towards developing its capabilities to avoid fake documentation via blockchain technology.
Melissa Oh, the managing director at SVIP stated that “DHS has need of the innovations coming from this community to ensure we are at least a step ahead of national security threats”.
In order to be qualified for a grant, blockchain startups are required to submit a proposed solution which contains different use cases, such as the provision of digital documents linked to travel, citizenship, immigration and employment authorization, and also cross-border oil and movements of raw material.
Startups and small businesses that have not had any government deal in the previous year totaling $1 million or more and that have less than 200 staffs at the time of application are qualified to apply for the funding, the DHS stated.
“The broad Homeland Security mission includes the need to issue entitlements, licenses, and certifications for a variety of purposes including travel, citizenship, employment eligibility, immigration status, and supply chain security,” according to Anil John, SVIP technical director.
He further added:
“Understanding the feasibility and utility of using blockchain and distributive ledger technology for the digital issuance of what are currently paper-based credentials is critical to preventing their loss, destruction, forgery, and counterfeiting.”
As early as 2015, the DHS had shown interest in blockchain technology as at when it began accepting research applications from small businesses so as to have a better knowledge of blockchain technology. The agency most recently released a pre-solicitation document which contains a full detail of the use of cryptocurrencies and if it is possible to track transactions carried out using privacy coins like monero and zcash.