While blockchain technology is best known for its application as the backbone of crypto, there are numerous alternative use cases which have recently been explored. A cloud-based smart contract platform known as SIMBA Chain is one of these newer, enterprising blockchain tech firms. The U.S. Office of Navy Research seems to have taken notice of this potential as well and just awarded them a $1.5 million contract to upgrade the U.S. military’s supply chain system.
The goal of the project is to develop a demand sensing system via blockchain technology for crucial military weapon parts. Supply chain logistics processes use demand sensing as a means of identifying upcoming needs in real-time to ensure demands are predictably satisfied in advance.
The primary focus of their work will be targeting the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet, a fighter jet that experienced initial variations over 30 years ago and which remains as the backbone of today’s U.S. Navy. SIMBA Chain will reportedly begin work this month at a naval air station in Jacksonville, Florida. They will work together with the Naval Enterprise Sustainment Technology Team (NESTT).
According to the NESTT, the Navy’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program was granted $30 million in 2020 to further technological innovations that optimize military preparedness. According to Steve McKee, the project’s lead at the NESTT, “This blockchain project with SIMBA Chain exemplifies the role of technology in revitalizing not just our military facilities, but our systems as well. Pilot projects like this one with the Fleet Readiness Center in Jacksonville drive both innovation, and ultimately positive outcomes.”
Blockchain technology is an ideal platform as the backbone of an efficient military supply chain system due to the irreversibility of transactions, its tamper-proof nature and its ability to be accurately audited. According to SIMBA Chain CEO Joel Neidig, “Blockchain is well suited to solve complex supply chain pain points as it enables a decentralized mechanism for the recording of non-repudiable transactions, making data both immutable and auditable, and lastly, tamper proof once written,” said Neidig.
SIMBA Chain was created by Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies and the University of Notre Dame in 2017, thanks to a research grant awarded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Over the past few years, the project has delivered multiple contracts for DARPA, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of Defense.
SIMBA Chain won first prize in a war games scenario hosted by the U.S. Department of Defense in October 2020. SIMBA pocketed $100,000 for its execution of a secure, blockchain-based communications network, knocking out competitors, including Boeing, in the process.
This story highlights the enormous potential of blockchain technology, both in terms of supporting cryptocurrencies like META 1 Coin and beyond. We are excited to see the positive implications of blockchain, given the often-negative specter that mainstream media casts upon all things crypto/blockchain.