Italian Government Will Provide €45 Million in Subsidies for Blockchain Projects

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In December, the Italian government issued a directive establishing criteria for using the fund. Credit: FABIO MAZZARELLA/SINTESI

On July 5, the Ministry of Economic Development of Italy announced that certain blockchain projects can apply for government subsidies. The amount of the subsidies may equal up to €45 million, and applications will be open starting from September. All companies that develop IoT, AI, or blockchain will be eligible to apply. The only condition is that the funds are to be used in specific sectors, such as healthcare.

Innovation Support Fund

The government subsidies programme has been developed within the framework of the Italian government’s goals for investments in technology, research and innovation. The fund will have an initial budget of €45 million for expenses and costs from €500 thousand to €2 million. Companies and research firms, public or private, will be eligible to get subsidised for the development of projects related to Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology.

“We support companies’ investments in cutting-edge technologies with the aim of encouraging the modernization of production systems through management models that are increasingly interconnected, efficient, secure and fast. The goal of competitiveness requires the manufacturing industry to constantly innovate and use the potential of new technologies,” – Giancarlo Giorgietti, Minister of Economic Development of Italy.

The new fund has been in development since 2021. In December, the Italian government issued a directive establishing criteria for using the fund. A subsequent directive issued in June 2022 set the terms and conditions for submitting applications. According to the directives, companies of any size will be eligible to apply for subsidies. The main condition is that the funds should be used for IoT, AI or blockchain in sectors including industry and manufacturing, tourism, health, the environment and aerospace.

Blockchain Regulations in the EU and Italy

On June 30, the European Parliament, European Commission, and the EU Council ran a session, which resulted in a groundbreaking set of rules to control and regulate the cryptocurrency market. The new regulations are expected to enter into force by the end of 2023. The regulations agreed upon by the EU aim to bring crypto issuers and service providers within its jurisdictional control under a single regulatory framework. After the new rules are enforced, issuers of crypto assets will require a “passport” to serve clients across the EU. All stablecoins will be supervised by the bloc’s banking watchdog European Banking Authority (EBA).

Italy, a member of the EU, would likely be affected by these regulations. The country’s securities regulator, the Italian Companies and Exchange Commission, or CONSOB, has previously warned residents about the possible risks of crypto investments. Nevertheless, Italy is open to the development and expansion of the local crypto market – a regulator body, Organismo Agenti e Mediatori, gave the green light to major crypto exchange Binance to open a branch in Italy.