Australia has unveiled a national blockchain strategy and roadmap, with a boost of AU$100,000 (~$71,200) in further funding from the federal government. The news was announced in a joint media release from two Australian ministries on March 18.
Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham have jointly stated that the new policy roadmap aims to make Australia’s nascent blockchain industry into a global leader.
The roadmap will encompass the development of blockchain “regulation, skills and capacity building, innovation, investment, and international competitiveness and collaboration.”
According to the media release, previous blockchain investments from Australia’s liberal national government — under Prime Minister Scott Morrison — have included AU$700,000 (~$500,000) to the country’s Digital Transformation Agency in 2018-19 explore the benefits of using blockchain for government payments, as well as AU$350,000 (~$250,000) to Standards Australia to promote the development of standardized international blockchain standards.
This fresh funding will specifically enable the Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology to sponsor Australian companies to join the Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)’s mission to the Consensus blockchain conference in New York City later this year.
Minister Andrews has outlined that they “will work 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.”
As Cointelegraph has previously reported, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) is an Australian government corporate entity that undertakes scientific research to advance local industries. Its digital innovation center, Data61, has spearheaded multiple major blockchain projects to date.
In the media release, Minister Birmingham emphasized 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 course of the past year, major initiatives have been underway in Australia to integrate blockchain across both the government and the financial sector.
In July 2018, IBM signed a five-year AU$1 billion ($740 million) deal with the Australian government to use blockchain and other new technologies to improve data security and automation across federal departments.