Ripple announced the latest group of partners to join its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), an initiative to accelerate academic research, technical development and innovation in related fields—blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments.
UBRI aims to foster an increase in blockchain-based academic activity by leading faculty, post-doctoral and graduate students via partnership with now, 29 universities. In Ripple’s bid to partner with a broader selection of international universities, one of the newly announced 11 institutions includes the National University of Singapore (NUS).
NUS now stands to receive academic support from Ripple, alongside contemporaries like Cornell University, Duke University, Institute for Fintech Research, Tsinghua University and University of São Paulo, among others.
Ripple’s UBRI will offer resources for universities to develop curricula, expand or launch courses, host conferences and awardscholarships to faculty and students pursuing work in blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital payments and related topics. Ripple is hedging its bets on academic institutions to serve as a major source of innovation as the nascent technology matures.
The independence and rigor inherent to universities enables them to fulfill this role, Ripple opines, which paves the way for innovative entrepreneurs and companies, while educating the broader market on how blockchain will impact the world beyond cryptocurrencies.
UBRI’s Ripple Effect on Singapore’s Talent Gap
NUS’s entry into UBRI could serve to help plug the blockchain talent gap within Singapore: one more initiative to add to the pool of courses launched to provide a stream of talent to Singapore’s burgeoning fintech scene. Ripple’s partnership with the University of California, Berkeley for example has resulted in cross-departmental collaboration, as several schools within the University expanded relevant course offerings, funded research projects and supported student-led activities and events, including an upcoming blockchain UI/UX hackathon.
The exact nature of NUS’s involvement in UBRI will remain to be seen at this juncture, particularly if it will be involved in workshops and conferences by UBRI’s partners regarding topics like blockchain, cryptography, cybersecurity, and regulation.
Featured image edited from NUS’s About