The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is seeking proposals from small businesses to address technical challenges in homeland security, including two relating to the blockchain.
DHS is seeking solutions for 10 topic areas in its Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) and 3 in the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) as part of its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
The two topics relating to blockchain technology are: “Applicability of Blockchain Technology to Privacy Respecting Identity Management” and “Blockchain Applications for Homeland Security Analytics”.
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A third topic, “Internet of Things (IoT) Low-Cost Flood Inundation Sensor”, can potentially tie in to the blockchain as well; blockchain systems have become an active component of IoT research and are reportedly being employed by at least one IoT startup, Filament.
Blockchain technology is envisioned for a variety of financial and non-financial applications demanding the immutability of data records.
The program comes in three phases. Proposals accepted into Phase I are eligible for a 6-month contract worth $100,000. Phase II offers 24-month projects worth up to $750,000. Phase III would build upon work already performed in SBIR and would be “funded by sources other than the SBIR program.”
In a statement, DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers commented, “We know that America’s small businesses are creative problem solvers and engines of innovation and we want to hear from them. We encourage eligible, U.S. small businesses to explore the topic areas presented in this funding opportunity and submit proposals that capture their best thinking. We are particularly interested in receiving proposals from under-represented groups, such as women-owned small businesses and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses.”