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A U.K. government agency is seeking pitches from blockchain startups as part of a competition focused on digital health solutions.

Innovate UK – a nondepartmental public office aimed to promote innovation through grants and investments – announced last week that it is looking to award up to £8 million ($10.5 million) in grants to firms working on health initiatives.

The agency said in its notice:

"The types of digital health projects we will fund include (but are not limited to) ... emerging digital health technologies with a demonstrated healthcare benefit, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, augmented reality, blockchain and the Internet of Things."

Beginning today, and running until October 11, the competition is open only to firms based in the U.K., while other stipulations apply based on the scope of entrants' projects.

Notably, Innovate UK has funded blockchain projects in the past, including £248,000 that was awarded to an ethereum-based cross-border payment tool in April 2016.

The agency also launched a distributed ledger-focused competition in September of last year, which sought to grant as much as £15 million to related projects. That initiative cast a wide net in terms of the projects it encompassed, with Innovate UK stating that it wanted to "inspire the new products, processes and services of tomorrow."

UK flag image via Shutterstock

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UKStartupsHealthcaregrantsgovernment funding

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