The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) will be providing funds to six companies for developing blockchain technology. The Innovation Fund of UNICEF will be investing up to $100,000 in these companies, which will have 12 months to deliver open-source prototypes of blockchain applications.
The companies in question are: Atix Labs, Onesmart, Prescrypto, Statwig, Utopixar, and W3 Engineers. They all come from developing and emerging economies, such as: Argentina, Mexico, India, Tunisia, and Bangladesh.
According to the announcement the selection was made from more than 100 applications across 50 counties. The six companies will be joining 20 other startups who are already managed by UNICEF, working in the field of data science and machine learning, virtual reality, and drones.
The startups will be using blockchain technology to try and solve challenges such as healthcare delivery transparency and managing finances and resources. Atix Labs will focus on a transparent funding platform;Onesmart are developing an application for secure delivery of funds; Prescrypto are building a platform to track patients prescription history; Statwig will focus on a supply chain management system for efficient delivery of vaccines; Utopixar are working on a social collaboration project; W3 Engineers will be developing an offline mobile networking platform.
The Innovation Fund started getting serious with blockchain technology earlier this year, when they announced they are looking to invest up to $90,000 in technology start-ups that have the potential to benefit humanity.
The six companies will not only receive the funds, according to UNICEF they will also be provided with product and technology assistance, support with business growth, and access to a network of experts and partners. Chris Fabian, the Principal Adviser at UNICEF Innovation, said in a statement:
Blockchain technology is still at an early stage – and there is a great deal of experimentation, failure, and learning ahead of us as we see how, and where, we can use this technology to create a better world.
According to the latest announcement by UNICEF, these investments are part of a bigger blockchain initiative for using smart contracts for organizational efficiency, and improve understanding of distributed ledger technology.