The National Science Foundation is looking for partners to help with demonstrations of blockchain-based smart contracts that could enhance its mission or business processes, including procurement and grant management.

NSF’s financial management division described potential use cases in a July 6 request for information. These include using distributed ledger technology (DLT) for digital wallets or proof-of work mechanisms, automating enforcement of contracts or grants and reducing compliance and reporting burdens.

Over the past year NSF and the Treasury Department have worked on two proofs of concepts to see whether blockchain technology could reduce the financial reporting required with grant funding, according to a May blog post. Although the prototype that was developed was not deployed, the team found that blockchain could increase transparency of grant funding and award information, reduce reporting and improve customer experience.

Besides outlining the DLT’s value proposition and competitive advantages, NSF wants prospective partners to detail the risks and limitations of their solutions, their cybersecurity features along with how they would work with NSF’s financial and procurement systems.

Source: GCN

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