Australian Government Grants $4.1M to 2 Blockchain Pilot Projects

The Australian government is doling out $4.1 million in grants for two blockchain-based pilot projects to study the capability of blockchain technology in supply chain systems.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government says the research will help ease regulatory compliance burdens, according to a press release on Monday.

The government has invested roughly AU$5.6 million (US$4.1 million) into blockchain provenance startup Everledger and tech consultancy Convergence.Tech.

Through its Blockchain Pilot Grants program, the government is hoping the companies will increase the productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s critical minerals and food and beverage sectors.

Everledger has received AU$3 million (US$2.2 million) to look at blockchain’s use in digital certification for critical minerals during the extraction and transportation phases.

Morrison’s government is hoping Everledger’s pursuit will aid companies in the mining industry to adhere to compliance regulations while increasing demand for Australian products globally.

Covergence.Tech has received AU$2.66 million (US$2 million) to help automate reporting processes under a commodity-based tax, which is an excise tax, on goods and services, including alcohol.

Convergence is seeking to reduce compliance costs associated with the creation, storage, and transportation of products in the food and beverage industry, according to the press release.

Christian Porter, Australia’s minister for industry, science and technology, said the grants will show the potential for blockchain technology to assist businesses in cutting costs and red tape throughout the supply chain process.

“These two successful projects will also highlight opportunities to improve the technical and regulatory environment for blockchain in Australia, bolster blockchain literacy and support collaboration between Australian governments, the private sector and blockchain companies,” Porter said.

The blockchain grants coincide with the country’s National Blockchain Roadmap, a 52-page road map that outlines a five-year plan on how blockchain technology can be used to reduce compliance costs, develop the technology and expand it internationally.