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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) last week announced a total of $3.1 million in competitive research awards for 29 small businesses located across 12 states, and Washington, D.C.
In all, 31 contracts were awarded in 10 topic areas and each business was awarded roughly $100k in preliminary funding through DHS S&T’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. Among other areas, the categories included applicability of blockchain technology to identity management and privacy protection as well as homeland security analytics.
Digital Bazaar, Respect Network Corporation, Narf Industries LLC, and Celerity Government Solutions, LLC received the grant for ‘Applicability of Blockchain Technology to Identity Management and Privacy Protection’. For ‘Blockchain Applications for Homeland Security Analytics’, Block Cypher and RAM laboratories, Inc. have been awarded.
Started in 2004, the DHS S&T SBIR Program is a competitive contract awards program that aims to further the participation of innovative and creative U.S. small businesses in federal research and development initiatives and to increase private sector commercialization of SBIR-funded solutions.
The DHS sought research proposals on blockchain technology and other technology areas through the S&T of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program in December 2015. It is basically a three-phase program, with the first phase comprising of the $100k grants that have been awarded. In the next phase, the research and development effort from the Phase I will be continued and awards are limited to $750k, with projects eligibility up to 24 months in duration.
Phase III refers to work that derives from, extends or completes an effort made under prior SBIR funding, but is funded by sources other than the SBIR program, according to the DHS. Phase III work is typically oriented toward commercialization of SBIR research or technology.