What is the Blockchain Pilot Grants?
The Blockchain Pilot Grants is a program that will provide funding to demonstrate the potential for blockchain to reduce regulatory compliance burden for business.
The National Blockchain Roadmap, released in February 2020, establishes the opportunities and challenges of blockchain’s potential growth, capacity and capability in Australia. The Federal Budget 2020-21 of the Australian Government announced the Digital Business Package, which built on this momentum and included measures to demonstrate the potential for blockchain to reduce regulatory compliance burden for business.
Two pilots will be funded at up to $3 million each to develop measures that demonstrate this potential for the Critical Minerals sector and the Food and Beverage sector.
- Pilot 1 – Critical Minerals (National Ethical Certification Scheme) to build supply chain integrity and contribute to the Critical Minerals National Ethical Certification Scheme and help our critical minerals businesses get more of their products to international markets
- Pilot 2 – Food and Beverage Provenance (Excise Tax on Spirit Production) to address the challenges of complying with excise tax regulations throughout spirit production and supply.
The objectives of the Blockchain Pilot grants are to:
- reduce compliance costs for businesses
- ensure buy-in from regulators
- bolster blockchain literacy and contribute to the overarching objectives of the national roadmap
- develop blockchain solutions for government and showcase to industry the viability of the regulatory efficiencies of blockchain
- support the inclusion of blockchain in broader policy work to increase management capability around digital technologies.
The Australian Government has announced a total of $6 million over 2020-21 to 2021-22 for this grant opportunity. A single grant of up to $3 million is available for each of the blockchain pilots. The grant amount will be up to 100 per cent of eligible project expenditure.
To be eligible your project must:
- be aimed at reducing relevant compliance costs through blockchain technology.
- include commissioning a Technology Comparison Report to show:
- the pros/cons/trade-offs of your blockchain solution in comparison to other (nonblockchain) technology
- whether your blockchain technology is value-adding beyond merely being a process of digitisation
- feedback from impartial stakeholders external to the blockchain industry that have experience in database systems, for example, IPFS, or distributed but centrally managed systems
- include commissioning a Protocol Comparison Report to explain how your blockchain solution would differ if alternate blockchain protocol(s) had been used. This report must:
- assess your chosen blockchain protocol against at least 3 to 5 other blockchain protocols (including both public and permissioned systems)explain what trade-offs are involved in each implementation (the pros and cons for security, scalability and transparency; and how it would have affected the pilot from the point of view of each stakeholder)
- include hosting an open event with the Department that showcases the results of the pilot
- showcase Australian blockchain start-ups.
Applicants should note that this pilot, your outcomes and objectives may be used as case studies to support the use of blockchain technology by other sectors.
Eligible activities must include:
- developing technical and governance structures
- developing your blockchain product
- testing your blockchain product
- collaborating across Australian blockchain (or similar technology) industry partners and Australian business in relevant industry sectors
- commissioning a Technology Comparison Report and Protocol Comparison Report
- promoting Australia’s blockchain start-up community
- bolstering blockchain literacy across government and industry
To be eligible you must:
- have an Australian business number (ABN)
You must also be one of the following entities:
- an entity incorporated in Australia
- a partnership
- sole trader
- a publicly funded research organisation (PFRO) as defined in the guidelines
Your application must be a joint application. Your application needs to identify and include an eligible lead organisation, who is the main driver of the project, and at least one other project partner.
Applications close 29 April 2021.