Blockchain Innovation at HBCUs Fostered by Ripple's UBRI


Blockchain Innovation at HBCUs Fostered by Ripple's UBRI


In a significant stride towards fostering blockchain innovation, Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) has been instrumental in setting up an important foundation and learning environment for the next generation of blockchain engineers at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

UBRI’s Impact on Blockchain Education

Over the past six years, the UBRI has established a standard for blockchain education, research, and inclusive economic growth. With more than 50 university partners across 26 countries, the initiative has contributed to over 600 new or expanded fintech courses and 1,500 academic blockchain research projects.

In a recent development, UBRI has renewed its $1.05 million partnership with Morgan State University. This partnership builds upon the initiative’s initial work with the University and illustrates UBRI’s commitment to supporting blockchain innovators across America’s HBCUs. The funding will lead to the creation of opportunities for new programming and research for students and faculty.

Partnership Highlights

Eric van Miltenburg, SVP Strategic Initiatives at Ripple, underlined the significance of the partnership, stating that HBCUs in the UBRI network are driving the growth of interest in crypto and blockchain knowledge. He expressed excitement at the prospect of how Morgan State will empower its students and launch ambitious projects that will diversify the XRP Ledger ecosystem for years to come.

Initiated in 2018, the collaboration between Morgan State and UBRI has bolstered its technological bandwidth, set new academic excellence standards, and cultivated a culture of innovation. The partnership has also given rise to innovative programming such as the student-led MorganHacks, which drew about 150 students from seven HBCUs this year and featured an XRP Ledger (XRPL) workshop and Finance Challenge Statement from Ripple.

Future Prospects

With the latest investment, Morgan State aims to boost these efforts, engage other HBCUs, and combine collaborative research and real-world applied learning opportunities. The goal is to nurture a pipeline of diverse, skilled, and highly trained professionals ready to excel in enterprise blockchain jobs. Proposed activities include cutting-edge research endeavors, faculty-led projects intersecting blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), XRPL development workshops and programs, and an annual national blockchain and fintech conference.

UBRI’s Role in the Future of Finance & Technology

As blockchain continues to flourish within academia, UBRI is set to expand its support for groundbreaking research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain and crypto on campuses worldwide. Its renewed partnership with Morgan State will help breed a new group of leaders equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving digital economy and ensure that HBCUs remain at the forefront of innovation.

Image source: Shutterstock

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Roy Walsh

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