The call for the reception of proposals will close on February 14th. The selected initiatives will receive up to 70% of financing to develop the government’s plan.
Colombian companies developing projects with blockchains are candidates to submit their proposals to receive financing, between 70% and 75% of the cost of the initiative, in the Colombian government’s plan to promote the development of distributed ledger technology (DLT).
The call is a joint campaign of the Ministries of Information and Communications Technology (MinTIC) and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, through the Colombia Productiva and SofisTICa program.
The reception process will end on February 14th and startups dedicated to the development of Big Data, the Internet of Things (IoT), data analysis, virtual and augmented reality and Artificial Intelligence (AI), among other technological fields, may also participate. The authorities expect to receive about 220 companies, 70 dedicated to developing software or information technologies and 150 from other productive sectors.
The total amount for the co-financing of all projects is budgeted at 18,420 million Colombian pesos (COP), equivalent to about USD 5.5 million. Companies, strategic economic sectors, electronic commerce technologies, marketplace solutions, and online business expansion are the five categories considered for the nominations of proposals.
Sylvia Constaín, who is in charge of the MinTIC, says that the plan is intended to know the needs of each sector of the Colombian economy to support the projects accordingly.
Requirements and Participation
According to Colombia Productiva, the call is aimed at companies developing software or those related to information technologies, as well as companies from other economic sectors. The startups interested in participating must submit their projects to be co-financed in alliances comprised of at least one development company and at least one from another sector, that is, a combination of the two lines.
Regarding the requirements for participating, the following are the most prominent: companies must be legal entities with at least two years’ existence at the date of submitting the proposal, projects must commit to increasing at least 10% of the level of employment in software and IT companies, the project must ensure that its development will have an impact on the exports of the companies, besides the fact that the alliance of the two companies must be supported by a commitment letter.
It should be mentioned that Colombia has become a pioneering Latin American country regarding the development of blockchain-based. In April 2019, the South American nation opened a center for studies on this type of decentralized networks and new technologies. This is the first Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Latin America, located in Medellín, an initiative promoted by the World Economic Forum.
The interest in distributed accounting technology is not only from Colombia since there are also nations like Spain or China that are aiming to know and develop projects on this original Bitcoin technology. In the Iberian nation, for example, a call was opened, through Santander Scholarships, to educate 2,500 students about blockchain. In the case of the Asian nation, President Xi Jinping himself has said that the country must assume leadership in this field.
Distributed ledger technology was born from Bitcoin, the world’s first blockchain, in which two or more people can conduct transactions of any kind, through the Internet, without the participation of intermediaries or trusted third parties.
By Willmen Blanco