In a bid to boost research on blockchain technology in universities, San Francisco-based distributed ledger technology firm Ripple has decided to invest $2 million in the University of Texas’ McCombs School of Business, according to a report by the Daily Texan.
Ripple recently announced the University Blockchain Research Initiative to motivate academia to research the new technological field and assigned a corpus of $50 for the funding of these research studies. The University of Texas is a part of a list of 17 universities spread across the world that were shortlisted by the company for investment.
Commenting on this initiative, Ripple’s vice president Eric van Miltenburg said: “Academia has traditionally been a critical driver of technical innovation. 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.”
McCombs began the initiative in April 2018 by organizing its first blockchain conference which was attended by around 300 people including representatives from Ripple.
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“That was the catalyst for really seeing that there was a lot of demand from students and industries and companies for having a central focus inside the business school to basically harness the demand for blockchain technology,” said Cesare Fracassi, an associate professor of finance and director of the Blockchain Initiative at the University of Texas.
However, according to Coindesk, the school has not yet finalized the best way to direct these funds and has plans to call for proposals later this year. Moreover, Fracassi revealed that projects run by both faculties and students could receive funding from the program.
Fracassi is also planning to organize another blockchain conference at the university in 2019.
“I think students get anxious and excited when they see money get poured into places that they haven’t directly looked into,” said Alan Orwick, president of Texas Blockchain. “For the people that have not really been interested in blockchain technology before, I’m sure it’ll raise their effort.”