Ripple, a San Francisco-based enterprise blockchain solutions provider, has announced the launch of an initiative focused on supporting academic research, innovation, and technical development in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.
Through the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), Ripple will donate $50 million to seventeen universities, each of which will determine its own research topics and areas of focus. In addition to providing financial resources, Ripple will provide subject matter expertise and technical resources as needed.
The initial UBRI partners include the University of Pennsylvania, CSAIL at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the Center for Information Technology Policy at Princeton University; the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley; the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada; University College London; the University of Oregon; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Korea University; the University of Luxembourg; Delft University of Technology (Netherlands); the University of Nicosia in Cyprus; Australian National University; Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil); the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin; IIT Bombay; and the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (India).
"Academia has traditionally been a critical driver of technical innovation," said Ripple senior vice president of global operations Eric van Miltenburg. "The University Blockchain Research Initiative is an acknowledgment of the vital importance of the unique role universities will play in advancing our understanding and application of cryptography and blockchain technology. It also speaks to the reality that university graduates will fuel a continually evolving and maturing financial marketplace and workforce. Much of the enthusiasm and activity to date around blockchain is disconnected from real use cases that result in clear benefits to businesses or civil society. While Ripple won’t dictate research parameters, we are excited to play a role in helping to support faculty and student-led projects that explore increasingly useful applications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies."