A pilot project based on the blockchain platform Ethereum will track and publish Canadian government research grant and funding data with blockchain technology, Canada’s National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP) announced in a blog post.
The NRC IRAP is working with Canadian blockchain company Bitaccess to run this Ethereum trial.
“These are early days yet, but the experiment is expected to provide constructive insight into the potential for blockchain technology and how it may be used for more open and transparent function of public programs,” the NRC IRAP says. It is relying on the Catena Blockchain Suite built by Bitaccess to securely store up-to-date information on government grants.
Each time a grant is awarded, Bitaccess creates a permanent record of the data on the blockchain and the NRC IRAP posts the information online. Canadians can search for funding opportunities by date, recipient, amount and geographic area. Each grant also has a unique transaction ID on the Ethereum transaction explorer.
The project is now live, and it currently shows a top grant of USD 11.8 million was given to Ryerson University in late 2016. The most recent award released was to Chinova Bioworks for USD 19,997 in late 2017.
NRC IRAP first revealed plans for this initiative in June 2017 at a blockchain “kickoff session” at the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) Service Lab. Funding for the blockchain project also comes from Public Services and Procurement Canada’s Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP).