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Ripple Partners With 11 New Universities For Its Blockchain Research Initiative

Sanmi Adeagbo | Feb. 8, 2019
Ripple Partners With 11 New Universities For Its Blockchain Research Initiative

Ripple has added eleven new universities to its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) which was set up to focus on blockchain research for the academia.

February 08, 2019 | AtoZ Markets - Ripple is currently leading developments for blockchain-focused academia and research. The University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) was launched in June 2018 to foster and accelerate academic research, development and innovation in the blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payment industry. The program started with 17 prestigious institutions across the world and excess of $50 million has been committed to funding and technical resources. Yet, Ripple continue to seek more partners in the academia. It recently just added 11 new universities to this program. In total, the firm now supports 29 partners to accelerate blockchain researches in the academia. The following are the new institutions.

  1. Carnegie Mellon University
  2. Cornell University
  3. Duke University
  4. Georgetown University
  5. University of Kansas
  6. University of Michigan
  7. Morgan State University
  8. National University of Singapore
  9. Northeastern University
  10. University of Sao Paulo
  11. Institute for Fintech research, Tsinghua University

Why UBRI?

This program was specifically established to prepare the next generation of engineers, business professionals and entrepreneurs to apply blockchain technologies in practice. Furthermore, the program was aimed at increasing awareness of the innovative impact and application of these technologies across all industries. Ripple also see this project as a part of it philanthropic plan to give back to the community. According to Eric Van, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple:

We launched UBRI back in June of 2018 to provide support for 17 different universities around the world to help progress their study of bockchain technology, cryptography, digital assets and fintech. Blockchain is an incredibly tranformational technology and helping advance the best minds in the world, who are already showing interest in this field. We've added 11 new universities this time around and now have 29 schools involved with the program. Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners will only continue to enrich this project

UBRI will practically be driven by partner universities and finance will be provided by Ripple. The selected schools according to Ripple, have shown interest and commitment to blockchain. Ripple will help to develop the required curricula, launch or expand courses, hold conferences and award scholarships to faculties and students engaging in research work on blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.

Supporting Innovation In Blockchain Through Academia

The UBRI is already yielding positive results in less than one year of its operation. Partner institutions are showing signs of progress toward the aims of this program to foster innovation in blockchain technologies. For example, at the University of Texas, the Ripple funding has helped solve three major challenges faced by the institution. Professor Cesare Fracassi of the University of Texas at Austin said:

First, UBRI has allowed us to provide funding to faculty and Ph.D. students that are interested in researching blockchain technology. Secondly, it has let us increase our curriculum on blockchain, enabling students to learn more through specific classes. Finally, the funding has allowed us to conduct important research that lets us act as a connector for companies, journalists and others outside of the university that are interested in this sector. We are making progress in each of these objectives and have held several events to highlight the research done by our faculty on blockchain. Additionally, we have put out a call for proposals for people who need funding for blockchain-related research and have developed three classes focused entirely on this sector from both a technical and business perspective.

The impact of this Ripple initiative is also felt at one of the partner institutions - Haas School of Business at University of California, Berkeley. Through the UBRI program, the university has awarded seven faculty research grants and eight research proposals from students. Here is what Laura Tyson, the Director of the Faculty of the Institute for Business and Social Impact at the Haas said:

We are excited by the momentum that the Ripple UBRI Partnership has fostered at Berkeley Haas and throughout U.C. Berkeley in the development of blockchain, digital payments and cryptocurrency-related research and innovation, said Tyson. 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

Other partners have benefited greatly from this program. The program has helped many students conduct professional research related to the industry. This initiative, if it continues, should achieve its aim. With more schools to join in the future, Ripple might be helping in building a new network of young blockchain enthusiasts. This program is already building a powerful network that is spanning across specific college campuses especially in the partner schools.

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