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The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded a $749,241 Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR) contract to Digital Bazaar, Inc. to develop blockchains for identity and access management.

Under the SBIR Phase II contract, the company will develop a flexible software that combines distributed ledger technology and digital wallets to address a wide variety of identity management and online access use cases for the Homeland Security Enterprise (HSE).

“Blockchain technologies have the potential to revolutionize the way we manage online identity and access the internet,” said Cyber Security Division (CSD) Director Douglas Maughan. “This R&D project will help bring this potential closer to reality.”

Under its project Digital Bazaar will build on its current platform, once completed, the enhanced product will be positioned as a service platform. The company will deploy the platform in several pilot projects to demonstrate its capability.

“Current blockchain implementations do not use any type of open standards to describe the data they work with. At the same time, scalable deployment requires such interoperability,” said S&T Identity Management Program Manager Anil John. “This blockchain project will deliver a solution that uses open standards developed via existing worldwide standards development organizations to ensure interoperability across blockchain implementations.”

Initiated in 2004, the DHS S&T SBIR program is a competitive contract awards program that increases the participation of innovative and creative U.S. businesses in federal R&D initiatives and facilitates private-sector commercialization of SBIR-funded solutions. A SBIR Phase II awardee continues its R&D from a completed Phase I project that successfully affirms the scientific and technical merit and feasibility of a proposed effort.