The University of Waterloo announced that it is one of 17 universities joining San Francisco-based Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative.
The University Blockchain Research Initiative is a collaboration between Ripple, which specializes in digital payments and blockchain, and major universities from around the world to supportƒ academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptography, and digital payments systems. The University of Waterloo, which is the only Canadian university participating in the initiative, said participating institutions will determine their own research topics and areas of focus.
According to a blog post, Ripple is committing $64 million CAD ($50 million USD) to support the universities conducting the research. The company will also provide universities with strategic guidance and technical resources.
“We know from recent world events and the experience of many of our partners that blockchain technologies will increasingly disrupt the way the world does business.”
“We know from recent world events and the experience of many of our partners that blockchain technologies will increasingly disrupt the way the world does business,” said Pearl Sullivan, dean of the faculty of engineering at Waterloo. “By increasing our ability to attract talent to Waterloo and work in conjunction with some of the world’s leading institutions, we will make a significant contribution to Canada and the world’s ability to address the challenges and opportunities that blockchain and cryptography technologies present.”
Ripple said participating universities will have the opportunity to partner with Ripple to collaborate on research and technical development to stimulate blockchain innovation, create a new curriculum to meet the demand for students to learn about FinTech, and to stimulate ideas and dialogue among students, faculties, and technologists.
“Academia has traditionally been a critical driver of technical innovation,” said Eric van Miltenburg, senior vice president of global operations at Ripple. “This project 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.”
The full list of universities participating in the initiative can be found here.