QUINCY — A Quincy-based startup incubator has been chosen as the first grant recipient under the state’s Technology & Innovation Ecosystem Awards program and will receive nearly $2 million to help foster growth in blockchain technology.
Qubic Labs was recently granted $1,961,375 from the Baker-Polito administration to provide startups with access to hardware and custom software development tool kits developed by Boston-based Algorand. QUBIC will work with Algorand and other partners to develop the platform, helping grow blockchain companies from early-stage research to scaling their business and creating jobs.
Ward 3 City Councilor Cain and John O’Keefe launched Qubic Labs, a startup incubator in downtown Quincy, in the summer of 2020. The goal is to find, grow and invest in promising finance, government and civic technology, Cain said, ultimately creating jobs in Quincy and throughout the region.
“The commonwealth’s investment is a clear and necessary indicator for the blockchain industry that Massachusetts intends to be supportive of this emerging sector,” Cain and O’Keeffe said in a joint statement. “There is tremendous excitement, optimism, and enthusiasm across the industry, and now is the time for Massachusetts to use its natural competitive advantages of talent, entrepreneurial spirit and capital to make even greater contributions in blockchain technology and development.”
Blockchain technology refers to the tech behind cryptocurrency and other revolutionary online transactions. The blockchain allows for secure peer-to-peer transactions using a decentralized network of computers, along with a record of anonymous users.
“Massachusetts has a real opportunity when it comes to blockchain, given our broad base of talent in computer science, finance, health care and beyond,” Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy said in a statement. “We’ve launched specific efforts and investments to address key innovation sectors we identified in 2020, making investments to boost quantum computing, AI and robotics. We’re excited to make this new investment in blockchain and eager to see how the project will help supercharge a growing industry in the Commonwealth.”
The grant from the Technology & Innovation Ecosystem Awards program will support an overall $4.5 million, three-year project. The money will allow QUBIC to create an interface with the Algorand blockchain, a development platform that supports smart contracts and is carbon neutral.
The goal of the Technology & Innovation Ecosystem program is to advance technology and innovation sector projects or initiatives that will contribute to a competitive advantage for existing and emerging industry clusters in Massachusetts. The program is funded through the Scientific and Technology Research and Development Matching Grant Fund, and was officially launched in late February 2022.
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Reach Mary Whitfill at firstname.lastname@example.org.