SIMBA Chain Awarded a Contract to Develop Blockchain-Based System for Securing Sensitive R&D Data by U.S. Department of Defense
The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) accounts for nearly 40 percent of all federal research and development (R&D) appropriations and through the Defense Technical Information Center, managing and providing oversight for an estimated 4.5 million documents for 4,000 users. Seeking to improve the integration, security, auditability, and controlled access of this critical data, the DOD has awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I contract of $200,000 to SIMBA Chain to architect a single, proof-of-concept blockchain-based system to achieve these objectives.
The project, dubbed ALAMEDA for Authenticity Ledger for Auditable Military Enclaved Data Access, will commence June 1, 2020 and run through Sept. 30, 2020. Phase I results will serve as a foundation for, if awarded, a $1 million SBIR Phase II award focused on a broader commercialization strategy.
The proposed system will make it possible to efficiently share documents and scientific datasets in a manner that protects integrity and authenticity, but with a control layer for adding groups, users and permissions to documents they share. SIMBA Chain’s cloud-based Smart Contract as a Service (SCaaS) platform is ideal for the application as it empowers users of all skillsets to create and deploy decentralized applications (dapps) for iOS, Android, and other platforms that enable secure, direct connections between users and providers without a third-party interface.
Commenting on the award, SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig says demand for more robust data security systems is the direct result of the exponential volume of sensitive data exchanged via mobile devices. “The DOD, defense contractors, and enterprise level businesses have benefited from mobile devices and how easy it has become to access and exchange date. However, the enhanced flow of information represents a significant security risk. Hence the need for sophisticated blockchain solutions that authenticate and document users, eliminate third party bad actors, and otherwise allow secure direct connections between trusted sources.”
He adds, “This is absolutely essential for the DOD, which is constantly handling data central to both the nation’s security and global leadership in science and technology.”
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The goal of ALAMEDA is to create a single system for efficiently sharing R&D-related documents and scientific data sets by augmenting existing repositories using Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs) to maintain the authenticity and identification of the source for information. To do this, SIMBA Chain must first design and build an efficient blockchain architecture that meets the requirements.
Project requirements include creating access controls for documents and datasets, ensuring integrity through validation mechanisms, establishing document delivery and access verifications, enabling rapid searches, and finally, establish a standardized path for data providers and repositories to easily integrate documents and data sets into the system.
Neidig credits SIMBA Chain’s people and proven track record with its selection for the SBIR Phase I award. The project lead, SIMBA Chain Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder Ian Taylor, was recognized among the top 40 blockchain influencers in 2018. The SIMBA Chain platform delivers improved traceability, authenticity, tracking, identification, searchability, and encryption using blockchain technology. SIMBA Chain has been awarded and successfully completed previous contracts with DARPA, the U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Department of Defense.