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News Release: DHS awards $197k for blockchain-agnostic approach to tracking raw material imports

News Release: DHS awards $197k for blockchain-agnostic approach to tracking raw material imports

Release Date: 
November 18, 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
S&T Public Affairs, 202-254-2385

WASHINGTON – The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $197,292.00 to Factom, Inc. based in Austin, Texas, to develop a blockchain security system that agencies can use to create and verify identities and help detect fraud involving imports, such as raw materials.

S&T is exploring the application of blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to issue credentials digitally to enhance security, ensure interoperability, and prevent forgery and counterfeiting. Factom's Phase 1 award project “Applying Cross-Blockchain Technology to Help Prevent Forgeries or Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses” proposes a platform that enables organizations to manage certificates and licenses associated with tracking raw material imports via an open system that ensures the provenance of issued credentials. This approach will provide mechanisms to ensure that any relevant business constraints are not violated, allowing for the selective disclosure of process-relevant information and improving auditability, accountability, transparency and efficiency.

“Data-centric blockchains that can work with any type of data are useful in enterprise contexts such as those of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for understanding the origin of raw material imports,” said Anil John, S&T's Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) Technical Director. “Factom is addressing this business and technical problem in a manner that supports global interoperability by adapting their existing Harmony products to support emerging World Wide Web Consortium global standards such as decentralized identifiers and verifiable credentials.”

The Phase 1 award was made under S&T’s SVIP Other Transaction Solicitation Preventing Forgery & Counterfeiting of Certificates and Licenses seeking blockchain and DLT solutions to fulfill a common need across DHS missions.

SVIP is one of S&T’s programs and tools to fund innovation and work with private sector partners to advance homeland security solutions. Companies participating in SVIP are eligible for up to $800,000 of non-dilutive funding over four phases to develop and adapt commercial technologies for homeland security use cases.

For more information on current and future SVIP solicitations, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/svip or contact dhs-silicon-valley@hq.dhs.gov.

For more information about S&T’s innovation programs and tools, visit https://www.dhs.gov/science-and-technology/business-opportunities.

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