US funds five blockchain startups developing blockchain projects

The funding was awarded to a variety of companies that specialised in using DLTs

Customs and Border Protection headquarters, US
The CBP is one of the US Departments that will benefit from the technologies being developed by the startups

The Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) of the Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, which is the research and development branch of the United States Department of Homeland Security, has given almost $1 million dollars to five blockchain startups that would help the Department use blockchain to modernise its operations.

The funding is part of the SVIP’s Phase 1 Awards, under the re-release of its Preventing Forgery and Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licences solicitation.

The awards total $817,712 and have been given to a range of startups that are working on new applications of the technology, particularly firms that work with distributed ledger technologies (DLT). It is hoped that the solutions of these startups will be implemented in other US offices, such as that of the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the DHS Privacy Office (PRIV).

Mattr, the firm that won the highest cash award at $200,000, is a firm based in New Zealand working on the creation of a digitally issued essential worker licence for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services Department.

The German company, Spherity, is the second startup recipient of the award and is working on plans to create a digital copy record of imported e-commerce packages.

Mesur.IO is working on retrofitting existing technologies to allow better monitoring of toxins, pathogens, and other hazards throughout the supply chain.

SecureKey Technologies is working on making a digital option for Social Security Numbers, which gives the holder full control.

Lastly, Mavennet, which won the smallest award at $86,100, is working on digitally tracking the shipments of natural gas between the US and Canada.

The S&T explained that the five winners were selected out of 80 applications that were sent in from companies competing for the funding on the directorate’s June industry day. Anil John, the Technical Director of the SVIP, outlined his vision of the applicants that were selected.

“The selected start-ups proposed innovative solutions to the problems, demonstrated a firm commitment to technical interoperability using global standards from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and provided concrete plans to commercialize their final solutions. With this, we are demonstrating the clear intersection of DHS priorities, industry needs, and public interest.” he said.

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