Ripple Announces New University Blockchain Research Initiative Partners, Expands to China and Singapore

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — Ripple will infuse $50 Million USD into a roster of 11 universities to boost the bandwidth of crypto-focused research via a program called the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI). This global initiative, first announced in June 2018, will now support 29 partners in total to fund academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, crypto-currency and digital payments. UBRI supports faculty, post-docs and graduate students.

Ripple enables global money transfers using blockchain. The new cohort of Ripple partners includes a broader international selection of top-tier university and college partners, representing a wide variety of academic disciplines. It also includes the first Ripple funds awarded to institutions in Singapore and China. New UBRI partners include:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Cornell University
  • Duke University
  • Georgetown University
  • The University of Kansas
  • The University of Michigan
  • Morgan State University
  • The National University of Singapore
  • Northeastern University
  • The University of São Paulo
  • The Institute for Fintech Research, Tsinghua University

“The most important thing this funding allows us to do is integrate the engineering and data science with finance and policy to craft financial models to fund infrastructure, developing models to close the infrastructure finance gap,” said Peter Adriaens, director of the newly funded Center for Smart Infrastructure Finance and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Finance at the University of Michigan, which will establish an initiative dubbed the FinTech Collaboratory to build multidisciplinary curricula in this booming space, as well as engineering and business use cases for crypto-currencies in new applications such as smart cities. “These solutions will democratize access to infrastructure and level the playing field between the rich and poor.”

“In less than a year, we are already seeing UBRI partners create new cross-disciplinary research programs and courses, as well as collaborate with one another to share ideas on how to grow the blockchain ecosystem,” added Eric van Miltenburg, senior vice president of global operations at Ripple in their own press release.

“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,” wrote Laura Tyson, Faculty Director at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas Blockchain Initiative (already a partner before this announcement). “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.”