All companies developing IoT, AI or blockchain technology will be able to apply for government grants as long as the funds are used in specific sectors such as healthcare.
The Italian Ministry of Economic Development has announced that certain blockchain projects will qualify to apply for up to $46 million in government grants starting in September.
In an announcement on Tuesday, the ministry said that public or private companies and research firms will be able to apply for government funds 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, approximately $46 million at the time of publication, for expenses and costs of €500,000 to €2 million as part of the Italian government’s targets for investments in technology, research and innovation.
“We support companies’ investments in cutting-edge technologies with the aim of stimulating the modernization of production systems through increasingly interconnected, efficient, safe and fast management models”, said the Minister of Economic Development, Giancarlo Giorgetti. “The objective of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and utilize the potential of new technologies.”
The government ordinance was made possible by a decree in December 2021 that establishes the criteria for using the fund and a subsequent one in June 2022 in which the ministry established the terms and conditions for submitting applications. Under the decree, companies of any size will be able to apply for grants as long as the funds are used for IoT, AI or blockchain in sectors such as industry and manufacturing, tourism, healthcare, environment and aerospace.
As a member of the European Union, Italy is likely to be affected by recent regulations agreed by the EU Parliament aimed at bringing cryptocurrency issuers and service providers under its jurisdictional control under a single regulatory framework. The country’s securities regulator, the Italian Commission of the Stock Exchange and Companies, or CONSOB, has previously warned residents about the potential risks of investing in cryptocurrencies, while Organismo Agenti e Mediatori is largely responsible for granting regulatory approval. The regulator has given the green light to major cryptocurrency exchange Binance to open a branch in Italy.