All major Blockchain technology companies will be housed here along with an incubator and a world-class facility to promote research, innovation and industry collaboration.

Telangana proposes to set up countrys first Blockchain District in Hyderabad
Atom Tech Shorts Monday, May 27, 2019 - 13:50

With Blockchain estimated to generate $3 trillion a year in business value by 2030, the government of Telangana is gearing up to leverage this opportunity by developing a conducive ecosystem for Blockchain in the state. In this regard, the government released a draft Blockchain policy last week.

“Hyderabad, the capital city of Telangana is uniquely positioned to take a leadership role in the development of blockchain technology due to the critical mass of industries leveraging blockchain technology located in Hyderabad (financial services, insurance, pharmaceuticals and life sciences, supply chain and logistics etc.), access to talent, support of entrepreneurship, and collaboration with enterprises,” the policy document states.

The state wants to make Hyderabad one of the top 10 Blockchain cities of the world and has decided to create India’s first 'Blockchain District', which will be a physical area within Hyderabad and with the aim to create the world's best blockchain technology ecosystem.

“The Blockchain District will house all major blockchain technology companies, will have a huge incubator and a world-class facility for promoting research, innovation and industry collaboration. This one of its kind initiatives will aim to put all blockchain companies based out of Hyderabad at a strategically advantageous position globally,” the draft policy document states.

The policy and the Blockchain District will be based around four main pillars: Developing talent pool, supporting infrastructure, promoting research and innovation; and enabling collaboration and building community.

A talent pool will be developed in the state by collaborating with industry to establish a training and certification agency, which will look at re-skilling and up-skilling the existing workforce for future demand. The government will also encourage technology institutions in Telangana to add blockchain in their curriculum. It will also encourage its employees to undergo workshops launched in blockchain technology to facilitate better adoption within the government.

Supporting infrastructure will be done through creating shared facilities that can be used by startups, academia, industry players and communities as well. Fostering innovation in blockchain technology, a sandbox for prominent blockchain protocols will be created that will allow simulation and prototyping of solutions.

“IT infrastructure facility for provision of cloud hosted computing and storage through T-Cloud will be extended at subsidized rates thus allowing for a future vision of blockchain as a service provided by the blockchain district,” the draft policy states.

To promote research and innovation, the Blockchain District will give academic institutions and industry a platform to come together and provide students hands-on industry experience through internships on the real-life implementation and problem solving around the technology.

The state government will also collaborate with corporates to start research fellowshipa that would sponsor researchers in blockchain technology to undertake research in Telangana. The government also plans to fund research programs in blockchain technology by setting up a research chairs in select premier institutes and fund research scholars working in the domain.

To enable collaboration and community building, the government plans to run programs in collaboration with industry associations to create awareness about difference in blockchain and cryptocurrencies. It will also provide the necessary infrastructure and sponsorship for meetups/gatherings/events in this space.

It plans to launch a virtual community for all the relevant stakeholders in the blockchain ecosystem comprising industry, governments, start-ups, investors, developers, and academia.

The government is also offering incentives to companies developing blockchain products and delivering blockchain services. These include:

-  25% subsidy on lease rentals up to Rs 5,00,000 a year for the first 3 years of operations

- A tailor-made incentive package for mega blockchain projects or marquee blockchain companies.

- Land will be allotted at subsidized rates to blockchain companies by Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Corporation Limited and the guidelines specified for regular ICT companies in terms of annual revenue, investment promises, employment creation promises will be partially relaxed for blockchain firms.

- For all the research projects sponsored by companies in technical universities, an equal amount of investment will be made by the government as well for up to Rs 5 lakh per year for next 3 years.

Incentives to startups

- 100% reimbursement of State GST for a period of 3 years to startups with revenues less than Rs 5 crore.

– R&D grant up to 10% of the R&D expenses or up to 2% of the annual turnover whichever is lesser to the start-ups innovating in blockchain technology in Telangana.

- One-time startup grant of Rs 10 lakh will be provided to a maximum of 10 blockchain startups per year for the next 3 years.

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