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National Science Foundation to Fund Blockchain Research for Cyber Infrastructure

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:53 PM
Rebecca Campbell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:53 PM

The US National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking funding to develop research that will consider how technologies such as blockchain and software tools can boost its cyber infrastructure.

In a proposal from the NSF , the organization is aiming to achieve funding amounting to $8.5 million. The Resilient Security Architecture for Research Cyberinfrastructure awards will be supported at up to $1 million total per award for up to three years. While the Cybersecurity Enhancement awards will be supported at up to $1 million total per award for up to two years. The NSF is estimated to present between seven and nine awards.

The proposal states:

Research Cyberinfrastructure environments have become increasingly complex as campuses and other research institutions adapt their existing research cyberinfrastructure to include a range of new technologies and modalities including private and commercially available cloud computing resources, new forms of shared data and computing infrastructure, identity management which spans institutions, and distributed shared computing, storage and network resources.

As a consequence, it has become difficult to monitor the scientific environment as deliberate or unintentional incidents that affect systems are often hard to detect. As a result, tackling system anomalies and loss of data remains an issue.

In a bid to answer these queries, some areas of interest that the NSF will be looking at are solutions focusing on blockchain technology. With the use of blockchain it can help ensure the integrity and confidentiality of information as scientific data traverses various platforms such as mobile, campus, Internet networks, and cloud.

The NSF Focuses on Cryptocurrency

This is not the first time that the organization has delved into the crypto-sphere.

In 2015, the agency awarded $3 million to three universities: Cornell, the University of Maryland, and UC Berkeley, which was aimed at candidates who were able to help define a ‘rigorous scientific foundation’ for cryptocurrency. The funding is expected to run until June 2018.

With so much interest circulating blockchain technology and the digital currency bitcoin, the NSF is keen to find a suitable solution for the foundation when it comes to its cyberinfrastructure.

By including the blockchain it understands its value and the potential benefits it can provide for such an organization.

For this latest funding round the NSF is calling on university and college-based teams in addition to non-profit and non-academic organizations to submit their proposals. Those interested in doing so have a proposal deadline of March 1, 5 p.m. submitter’s local time, according to the NSF proposal.

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