Italian Ministry to provide $46 million in subsidies to develop blockchain projects
- Selected blockchain projects will be provided up to $46 million in government subsidies starting from September.
- The Italian Ministry is incentivising companies to indulge in projects that deal with AI, the Internet of Things(IoT), and blockchain technology.
On July 5, the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy announced that certain blockchain projects would be provided upto $46 million in government subsidies starting from September this year.
Under this new initiative, companies/public/private research firms will be able to apply for funding from the Ministry for the development of projects related to the Internet of Things(IoT), artificial intelligence(AI), and blockchain technology. According to the official press release, the fund will have an initial budget of $46 Million to be used to fulfill the Italian Government’s goals for investments in technology, research, and innovation.
The latest government directive was made possible by a decree in December establishing criteria for using the fund, followed by one in June 2022 in which the Italian Finance Ministry set the terms and conditions for submitting applications.
On 31 January 2022, the Italian Ministry of Economic Affairs signed the decree enacting the creation of the fund for the development of artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the internet of things in order to foster the development and transfer of technology from the world of research to businesses. Under the latest directive, companies of any size will be eligible to apply for funding if they work in the field of IoT, AI or blockchain in sectors including industry and manufacturing, tourism, health, the environment, and aerospace.
Earlier this year, the Italian Government issued a new decree requiring that virtual asset/currency service providers promptly enroll in a soon-to-be established special section of the register held by Organismo Agenti e Mediatori (“OAM”), to monitor cryptocurrency exchanges and implement anti-money laundering controls. Italy, which is currently evolving to be an NFT hub hasn’t always had a good reception with cryptocurrencies.
In several past instances, the Bank of Italy and the Italian Securities and Exchange Commission (“Consob”) have issued joint statements calling upon the public and small savers to beware of the risks embedded in crypto-activities. Despite this, the Italian Government is currently prioritizing promoting innovation through digital technologies like blockchain.
According to the Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti, the goal of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to innovate and use the potential of new technologies constantly. Italy also recently grabbed the attention of crypto enthusiasts when the country’s regulation gave the green flag to leading crypto exchange Binance to open its branch in Italy.