The University of California-San Diego has received a staggering USD 818,433 grant for a blockchain-based project named “Open Science Chain” (OSC).
OSC is proposed as a platform that allows for researchers to access and verify the data gathered by numerous scientific experiments. The project will be led by Subhashini Sivagnanam, a software architect and researcher who presently works with the Data Enabled Scientific Computing Division at the San Diego Supercomputing Center.
Sivagnanam was awarded the funds from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop the project. The NSF organization has been around for quite some time and it has previously displayed interest in blockchain projects and research efforts.
In January 2017, NSF was offering millions to fund cyber-security research which included blockchain technologies/ Later that year in July, it provided over USD 400,000 in federal funding to a Princeton University researcher to research cryptocurrencies as part of a mechanism incentive study.
The funding will be officially granted on 1 September 2018 and will be available until 31 August 2021.
According to the blog post on the official NSF website, the OSC project is described as “a web-based cyberinfrastructure platform built using distributed ledger technologies that allow researchers to provide metadata and verification information about their scientific datasets and update this information as the datasets change and evolve over time in an auditable manner”.
The post adds that researches can search, verify and validate datasets, linking them to show lineage information.
Funding of this level is becoming less of a rarity for blockchain efforts in 2018 and has the capacity to set a global precedent for other governments to follow in the footsteps of.
Perhaps the US is only now beginning to catch up in the blockchain research and education funding race. In China, four universities are to receive approximately USD 20 million to conduct an interdisciplinary research project that examines blockchain technology applications, as well as artificial intelligence (AI) and electronic payment security enhancements.
South Korea has also allocated a significant fund to drive innovation growth over the next five years or so. As part of the Growth through Innovation Investment Plan, the government will be aiming to educate and train a 10,000 strong workforce by 2022-2023 across many fields including blockchain technologies.
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