US Navy awards $ 1.5 million contract to blockchain project

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SIMBA Chain, a cloud-based smart contract platform, was tasked with overhauling the U.S. military’s supply chain after receiving a $ 1.5 million grant from the U.S. Office of Navy Research.

The project will be responsible for developing a blockchain-based solution to enable demand sensing for critical military weapon parts. Demand sensing is a forecasting technique used in supply chain logistics that processes real-time information to accurately predict demand in advance.

Work will focus on building a use case centered on the Boeing F / A-18 Hornet – a fighter aircraft whose first variant was introduced in the 1980s, and which still constitutes the backbone of the US Navy.

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SIMBA Chain began work Jan. 6 at a Naval Air Station in Jacksonville, Fla., Where it will work in tandem with the Naval Enterprise Support Technology Team (NESTT).

NESTT project leader Steve McKee said the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program received $ 30 million in 2020 to develop technological innovations that improve military readiness:

“In 2020, the Department of the Navy’s SBIR program allocated more than $ 30 million to help advance innovations to improve readiness. This blockchain project with SIMBA Chain illustrates the role of technology in revitalizing not only our military facilities, but also our systems. Pilot projects like this one with the Jacksonville Fleet Readiness Center are driving both innovation and ultimately positive results. ”

SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig said blockchain is up to the task of forming the backbone of an effective military supply chain, thanks to the irreversibility of transactions, its tamper-proof nature and to its ability to be accurately verified.

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“Blockchain is well suited to solving complex supply chain problems because it allows a decentralized mechanism for recording non-repudiable transactions, making data both immutable and verifiable, and finally, inviolable once written,” said Neidig.

SIMBA Chain was developed by Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies and the University of Notre Dame in 2017, following a research grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Since then, the project has delivered several contracts for DARPA, the US Department of Energy and the US Department of Defense.

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In October 2020, SIMBA Chain won the top prize in a war games scenario hosted by the US Department of Defense. SIMBA won $ 100,000 for its implementation of a secure blockchain-based communications network, beating Boeing’s competitors.