South Bend-based SIMBA Chain Inc. won the gold medal in the U.S. Air Force’s first-ever Advanced Manufacturing Olympics. The blockchain startup’s strategy, which applies blockchain and 3D printing to keep the Air Force ready for battle, beat out 16 other finalists, including Stratasys (Nasdaq: SSYS) and the Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA).
SIMBA Chain earned top honors in the Supply Chain Marathon division, receiving $100,000 as the first place winner.
SIMBA Chain Chief Executive Officer Joel Neidig said the team put together a war games solution, based on a fictional scenario, capable of delivering critical parts to a battlefront as well as keep field hospitals operational and infrastructure intact.
“What was different about our approach was how we met both the physical challenges of warfighters as well as the cyber threats that are playing a growing role in modern warfare,” said Neidig. “Including blockchain in our strategy set SIMBA Chain apart as our additive manufacturing labs were digitally and securely interconnected with one another and with military command,” Neidig said. “This ensured the integrity of communications and that whatever was needed could be built to military specifications without compromise from external forces. This strategy resonated with the judges.”
The competition was developed to bring together technology companies, startups, and U.S. Department of Defense contractors as well as academia to help solve some of the Air Force’s key challenges. SIMBA Chain says its team included Argos-based ITAMCO, the University of Notre Dame and C5BDA.