University Blockchain Research Initiative Expands Global Footprint with 11 New Partners

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Team Ripple

Ripple has expanded the group of partners within its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). This global initiative, which launched in June 2018, now supports 29 schools to further accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. Since its launch, UBRI has helped foster increasing levels of interest and academic activity by leading faculty, post-doctoral and graduate students at many of the world’s top universities.

The new cohort of partners includes a broader and even more global selection of top-tier university and college partners, representing a wide variety of academic disciplines. New UBRI partners include:

Partners will utilize UBRI resources in unique ways, developing curricula and expanding or launching courses, hosting conferences and awarding scholarships to faculty and students pursuing work in blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital payments and related topics. These programs, driven by the university partners, are poised to prepare the next generation of engineers, business leaders, entrepreneurs and other professionals to apply these technologies in practice. In addition, these programs will increase positive awareness of the transformative impact that blockchain technology will have across all industries.

As in the days of the early Internet, academic institutions are expected to serve as a major source of innovation as blockchain and cryptocurrency technologies continue to mature. The independence and rigor inherent to universities enables them to fulfill this special role, which paves the way for innovative entrepreneurs and companies as well as educates the broader market on how blockchain will impact the world beyond cryptocurrency.

Since its launch, UBRI has cultivated strong connections between partners and created a global network for advancing and accelerating the field. For example, the partnership with the University of California, Berkeley has resulted in cross-departmental collaboration, as several schools within the University expanded relevant course-offerings, funded research projects and supported student-led activities and events, including an upcoming blockchain UI/UX hackathon. In 2018, the 600+ members of the University of Pennsylvania’s blockchain club benefitted from UBRI’s support as they conducted research and the school also expanded its course offerings.

This year, a number of UBRI partners will host and collaborate at workshops and conferences centered on topics including blockchain, cryptography, cybersecurity, and regulatory issues. At U.S.-based Duke University and Georgetown University, UBRI will support expanding curriculum and teaching, research and technical projects and collaboration across disciplines. Internationally, the University of Sao Paulo is receiving funding for a blockchain innovation program, which will serve as an interdisciplinary forum across its schools of engineering, law, mathematics and economics and business administration.

“In less than a year, our initial UBRI partners hit the ground running with the launch of new research projects, events, course offerings and more. Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners will only continue to enrich these projects,” said Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple.

“We are excited by the momentum that the Ripple UBRI Partnership has fostered at Berkeley Haas and throughout UC Berkeley in the development of blockchain, digital payments and cryptocurrency-related research and innovation,” says Laura Tyson, Faculty Director at Berkeley Haas Blockchain Initiative. “In December, we awarded the first round of Ripple-funded faculty and student blockchain, digital payments and cryptocurrency-focused research grants. Also, we are sponsoring numerous student-led activities this semester, including partnering with Blockchain at Berkeley to host a blockchain/fintech industry Spring speaker series at Haas.”

For more information about Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative and its partners, visit https://ubri.ripple.com. Please also check out our monthly On Campus blog series on Ripple Insights.

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