UK government agency Innovate UK is seeking grant applications from Blockchain startup companies for the development of Blockchain-based digital health solutions. In its announcement in late July 2017, the non-departmental agency claimed that it is eyeing to award as much as £8 mln ($10.5 mln) in grants to startup companies which are involved in health projects.

Part of the announcement reads:

"The types of digital health projects we will fund include (but are not limited to) ... emerging digital health technologies with a demonstrated healthcare benefit, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, Blockchain and the Internet of Things."

Mike Sullivan Head of Advanced Therapies of Innovate UK, shared on Twitter that the competition opens today, July 31.

Previous Innovate UK projects

The agency has financially supported other Blockchain-based projects in the previous years. In April 2016, the agency has awarded £248,000 to startup firm Tramonex for the development of a Blockchain-based cross-border payments tool that uses the digital currency Ethereum.

In an interview at that time, Tramonex co-founder and CEO Amine Berraoui said that they will use the money to improve their cross-border Blockchain tool.

"We are quite advanced in our prototype already; it’s more about looking for different approaches to handle the technology. Then to develop the commercial clients."

Under the grant agreement, the prototype will be presented to the British finance regulator Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and other yet-to-be-named agencies for approval.

In September 2016, Innovate UK has conducted a distributed ledger-focused competition in order to grant up to £15 mln to the winning companies to conduct research and development (R&D) to distributed ledger-based projects.

In advancing the initiative, the agency announced that it aims to “inspire the new products, processes and services of tomorrow” making the UK one of the few countries truly embracing Blockchain and its potentials in government and public services.

The new grant competition, meanwhile, will be conducted from July 31 to Oct. 11, 2017.