Australia has revealed a national blockchain strategy and roadmap, with a boost of $100,000 in further funding from the federal government. This news came in a joint press release from two Australian ministries on 18th March.
Karen Andrews is the Minister for Industry Science and Technology and the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Simon Birmingham has recently both stated that the new policy roadmap aims to make Australia’s nascent blockchain industry into a global leader.
The roadmap will surround the development of blockchain “regulation, skills and capacity building, innovation, investment, and international competitiveness and collaboration.”
According to the press release, previous blockchain investments from Australia’s liberal national government have included $500,000 USD to the country’s Digital Transformation Agency in 2018-19 which look into the benefits of using blockchain for government payments as well as $250,000 to Standards Australia to promote the development of global standardised blockchain standards.
This new batch of funding will especially allow the Ministry for Industry, Technology and Science to take on sponsorships from Australian firm’s to join the Australian Trade and Investment Commission’s plan to the Consensus blockchain conference in New York City later in the year.
Andrews highlighted that the Ministry will be working “closely with blockchain and technology experts from industry and academia [...] as well as with CSIRO’s Data61 to incorporate findings from their forthcoming future scenarios report on blockchain.”
Reports have previously surfaced that the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) is an Australian government corporate entity that undertakes scientific research to advance local industries. Data61 is the digital innovation centre which has paved the way for several big blockchain projects to date.
Birmingham has made it clear that the government’s blockchain endorsement will help ensure that “Australia and [its] tech companies stay ahead of the game in one of the world’s fastest growing technology sectors.”
Over the last year, there has been a lot of big initiatives going underway in Australia in order to implement blockchain across both the government and the financial sector.
In fact, in July last year, IBM signed a deal worth $740 million USD for a five-year contract with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation across federal departments.