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U.S. Air Force extends blockchain supply chain project


Yesterday, SIMBA Chain announced it was awarded additional funding of $1.5 million by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) for the second phase of a blockchain parts traceability project. 

SIMBA Chain offers a smart contract as a service platform enabling enterprises and developers to deploy decentralized applications (Dapps) quickly. The company was borne out of a DARPA grant to the computing department of the University of Notre Dame and Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO).

The company will be working with select aerospace equipment manufacturers who provide components to the USAF for the new contract, including “one of the world’s largest aerospace corporations”. SIMBA Chain will source three typical parts for case study analysis, assist with data modeling, and validate the solution with business case analysis. 

Last year, the USAF contracted SIMBA Chain to use blockchain for parts procurement, especially for additive manufacturing, commonly known as 3D printing. The goal was to secure 3D printing designs and prevent tampering. The project is called the ‘Blockchain Approach for Supply Chain Additive Manufacturing Parts’ (BASECAMP).

“With the advent of additive manufacturing, which allows us to print parts on-demand anywhere in the world, including on battlefields, supply chain complexity and the need for data integrity have grown exponentially,” said Jeffrey Slayton, director, Special Programs, Strategy and Policy, U.S. Air Force. 

“Emerging technologies like SIMBA Chain’s blockchain platform have the potential to achieve the reliable exchange of information over an unreliable network where not all participants can be trusted, and in so doing, continue to advance the technological supremacy of America’s air, space and cyber forces.”

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is exploring blockchain solutions to strengthen its capabilities and has awarded a handful of contracts to blockchain firms. SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig believes his company could meet the expectations of the USAF as well as other branches of the DOD. 

Apart from building a blockchain supply chain management solution, SIMBA Chain will also explore training opportunities re blockchain for cybersecurity, logistics, and programming as well as research. 

Founded in 2017, SIMBA Chain’s smart contracting platform currently supports Ethereum, Quorum, RSK, Hyperledger Fabric, Hyperledger Burrow and Stellar. The company raised $1.5 million in a seed round earlier this year. 

SIMBA Chain is already working with the U.S. Navy for aircraft parts traceability. The company has another five-year contract with the Navy for a secure blockchain messaging and transaction platform. 

A couple of months ago, the DOD awarded a blockchain contract to SIMBA Chain for securing research and development data