Partnership for Economic Innovation Secures Funding for Next Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center Cohort

Partnership for Economic Innovation Secures Funding for Next Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center Cohort

 Phoenix, AZ (September 12, 2022)—The Partnership for Economic Innovation, a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities, and the Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center (AZ BARC) have been awarded $400,000 in State allocated funding by the Arizona Commerce Authority to research new applications in blockchain technology. This funding will support the newest members of AZ BARC and their research projects, MetaXFashion and DASH, in addition to a Data Exchange project that utilizes commitments from existing AZ BARC members.

Blockchain, a decentralized distributed ledger technology that tracks ownership of digital assets, has grown in popularity for its practical applications in financial and creative industries. Through AZ BARC, new industry partners MetaXFashion, DASH and university researchers at Arizona State University will collaborate to investigate supply chain technologies for brands entering the metaverse and new applications of blockchain to improve transaction throughput of the DASH network.

“Through the Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center, we are aiming to place Arizona at the forefront of technological advancement and growing Arizona’s technical workforce,” said Kathleen Lee, Director of Applied Research at Partnership for Economic Innovation. “We thank the Arizona Legislature and Arizona Commerce Authority for providing these critical resources so that we may support leading blockchain researchers to further promote innovation and sustainability within Arizona’s economy.”

For MetaXFashion, AZ BARC will explore supply chain solutions for bridging the physical and virtual worlds, with the goal of creating a sustainable NFT Marketplace and minting ecosystem on the Algorand blockchain where fashion designers, consumers and products can interact. The AZ BARC team will enable the use of QR codes, RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification), and NFCs (Near Field Contact – touch screens on smart phones) to transparently track activities in the fashion metaverse.  

The DASH project will study how blockchain-based aggregate signature solutions could improve platform performance and efficiency. The study will also develop optimization techniques by surveying and analyzing performance of existing signatures.

The Data Exchange project will create a platform where IoT system providers can create ad-hoc challenges for their IoT devices. End-users would be able to access and “solve” the challenges resulting in unique IoT data streams. These data streams would be offered on an open data marketplace. The Internet of Things (IoT) systems are becoming integrated in all segments of our day-to-day life, from our smartphones and wearables, over smart home/building systems to smart cities, IoT systems are handling various smart sensing and automation challenges. This project will develop solutions and services in the Data Portability field tackling issues such as data compatibility & interoperability, data sovereignty, data transparency, security & privacy, among others.

The state funding awarded by the Arizona Commerce Authority will go towards investigating and validating the technology applications for each of these projects. Once the research and validation phases are complete, AZ BARC will assist each project with the next steps of deploying the technology for real use by industry leaders and members of the public.

“The MetaXFashion and DASH blockchain projects represent AZ BARC’s commitment to creating a pathway for innovative advancements that shape Arizona’s technological landscape,” said Dragan Boscovic, Research Director at AZ BARC. “We look forward to adding them to our portfolio of blockchain research projects.”


AZ BARC follows a consortium model as its research is led by industry needs. AZ BARC is a public-private partnership funded by Member companies, the Partnership for Economic Innovation and grants made available from the Arizona Legislature through the Arizona Commerce Authority. Member companies provide annual funding through Membership fees that are determined each year. Additional Members of AZ BARC include Intel Corporation, Kudelski Security, Early Warning Services, LLC, BD and Movemedical. To learn more about AZ BARC and Membership options visit




The Arizona Blockchain Applied Research Center (AZ BARC) was created in 2019 by the Partnership for Economic Innovation.  The Center’s research partner is Arizona State University.  AZ BARC is an industry led applied research center solving the challenge of creating blockchain applications that can overcome vexing and complex digital security questions.  These applications will become the digital products of the future. AZ BARC Members are Intel Corporation, Early Warning Services, LLC, Kudelski Security, BD, Movemedical, DASH, MetaXFashion, and the Partnership for Economic Innovation. Subscribe to updates from the Center at



Partnership for Economic Innovation is a passionate collective of business and community leaders dedicated to accelerating Arizona’s economic opportunities. We believe innovation’s next challenge isn’t exponential growth, it’s exponential impact—which is why PEI is investing in community-building technology and R&D designed to make Arizona more resilient and empower innovators to bring world-changing ideas to market. PEI initiatives include:

  • WearTech and Blockchain Applied Research Centers are accelerating the development of emerging technology products with the potential to radically transform healthcare, keep us safer and more secure.
  • Pipeline AZ, a career exploration platform creating more transparent pathways to advanced industry jobs and connecting Arizona workers to any training they might need to get there.
  • The Connective, Greater Phoenix’s internationally acclaimed Smart Region collaborative, convening cities, industries and entrepreneurs to lay the open innovation groundwork to solve regional challenges.


METAXFASHION Inc. was founded by serial startup entrepreneur Brendan Gage and high-tech manufacturing expert Hermann Plank in 2022 – METAXFASHION is a dApp (Decentralized Application) that transforms diversified fashion brands, designers, and consumers to decentralized fashion metaverses. It is a sustainable fashion-forward ecosystem that supports both designers/brands and consumers access, allowing to create a link between the present universe and Metaverse to work together in harmony, as Blockchain environments are dominating the landscape in the next era to come.


Dash is digital cash designed to offer financial freedom to everyone. Dash allows millions of individuals across the globe to carry out instantly re-spendable and secure transactions with near-zero fees. Dash is the leading decentralized payment solution built to support real-life use cases: it is accepted at merchants globally, and accessible via 6,000+ ATMs and 260+ exchanges worldwide. Dash has pioneered groundbreaking features, including a two-tier network with incentivized nodes and decentralized project governance (Masternodes), instantly settled payments (InstantSend), instantly immutable blockchain (ChainLocks), and more. Dash’s Network development is supported by Dash Core Group, the largest organization funded by the Dash Treasury, which supports and nurtures Dash’s continued worldwide development and integration. For more information, visit or follow on Twitter @DashPay.


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