UK Government Lures Distributed Ledger Projects With $26 Million Fund

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The United Kingdom’s technology development arm, Innovate UK, is doubling down on its support for blockchain-based technologies, it announced on Jan. 22.  

The U.K.’s nondepartmental public office said it would invest a total of £19 million ($26.6 million) in projects which will result in new products or service in the fields of emerging and enabling technologies, including using distributed ledgers. The agency will also offer a further £12 million ($16.8 million) for businesses trying to recruit graduates to help develop their project.

Respondents have until March 28, 2018 to submit their proposal, and must be run by a business or a research and technology group. The projects’ scopes must cost at least £35,000 and last at least for three months, but can go on to three years with a cost of £2 million, according to the announcement. Also a part of the eligibility criteria is that businesses should be able to raise up to 70 percent of their costs on their own.

The new announcement comes as the latest initiative by Innovate UK, which has a history of looking for new ideas and projects in the blockchain sector. Last July the agency sought pitches from groups which could implement blockchain tools into emerging health technologies.

Prior to that, Innovate UK awarded £248,000 to a blockchain startup to develop a a cross-border financial transaction tool.

According to the announcement, projects focusing on the distributed ledger technology may be competing for the fund against others in areas such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, etc.

Thames River image via Shutterstock

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