The Ministry of Economic Development of Italy has announced that certain blockchain projects will qualify to apply for up to $46 million in government subsidies starting from September.
In a Tuesday announcement, the Ministry said companies and public or private research firms will be able to apply for funding from the government for the development of projects related to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and blockchain technology. The fund will have an initial budget of 45 million euros — roughly $46 million at the time of publication — for expenses and costs from 500 thousand (worth $512,150) to 2 million euros ($2,048,600) as part of the Italian government’s goals for investments in technology, research and innovation.
“We support companies' investments in cutting-edge technologies with the aim of encouraging the modernization of production systems through management models that are increasingly interconnected, efficient, secure and fast,” said Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti. “The goal of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and use the potential of new technologies.”
The government directive was made possible by a decree in December 2021 establishing criteria for using the fund and a subsequent one in June 2022 in which the Ministry set the terms and conditions for submitting applications. According to the decree, companies of any size will be eligible to apply for subsidies provided the funds will be used for IoT, AI or blockchain in sectors including industry and manufacturing, tourism, health, the environment and aerospace.
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A member of the European Union, Italy would likely be affected by recent regulations agreed upon by the EU Parliament aiming to bring crypto issuers and service providers within its jurisdictional control under a single regulatory framework. The country’s securities regulator, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission, or CONSOB, has previously warned residents about the possible risks of crypto investments, while the Organismo Agenti e Mediatori is largely responsible for granting regulatory approval for crypto service providers — in May, the regulator gave the green light to major crypto exchange Binance to open a branch in Italy.