Newswise — Berkeley, CA – 4th June – The Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley today announced its participation in the University Blockchain Research Initiative, a new program founded by Ripple to support academic research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.
Berkeley Haas will receive a multi-year, multi-million-dollar gift from Ripple to build on the school’s leadership in advancing understanding of how these technologies are transforming multiple industries, and in educating leaders who will bring them to market. The school will develop a comprehensive program focused on blockchain and distributed systems, as well as cryptocurrency and digital payments.
"This is the perfect partnership: Berkeley with our triple strengths of an outstanding business school, outstanding STEM education and research, and our location in the Bay Area—the heart of innovation—and Ripple, with its remarkable leadership in remaking how global payments are done," said Haas Dean Rich Lyons.
Berkeley Haas is one of 17 prestigious universities around the world and one of only two business schools in the U.S. partnering with Ripple on the $50 million University Blockchain Research Initiative.
Housed within the Institute for Business and Social Impact (IBSI) in collaboration with the #1-ranked Master of Financial Engineering Program, the Berkeley Haas blockchain research program will link to the wide array of expertise and initiatives underway across campus. These initiatives include strategic collaborations with other UC Berkeley schools and departments including the engineering and law schools; a new Haas FinTech Center under development; as well as student-led initiatives such as the Haas FinTech Club and Blockchain at Berkeley. The program will support pioneering academic research examining the changes these technologies are bringing to a wide range of industries and the financial system, and how they might be harnessed to reduce poverty and enhance the greater good.
"Exploring and advancing uses of blockchain to solve business and societal problems are core to the mission of Berkeley Haas and its Institute for Business and Social Impact," said IBSI Faculty Director Laura Tyson. “This partnership with Ripple comes at the perfect time for UC Berkeley, as our students across campus are demanding even more classes, research opportunities, and activities related to blockchain."
The Berkeley Haas program will provide financial support for academic research, graduate and undergraduate research projects, student experiential learning, and events and student activities such as competitions, conferences, and guest speakers. Berkeley Haas will determine the research topics and areas of focus. In addition to financial resources, Ripple has committed to providing strategic guidance and technical resources as needed.
Eric van Miltenburg, Ripple's senior vice president of Global Operations, said the initiative will help meet the growing demand for talent, learning, research, and project-based experience in blockchain and fintech more broadly.
“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,” said Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple. “Much of the enthusiasm and activity to date around blockchain is disconnected from real use cases that result in clear benefits to businesses or civil society. While Ripple won’t dictate research parameters, we are excited to play a role in helping to support faculty and student-led projects that explore increasingly useful applications of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”
Berkeley Haas’ ability to reach across campus departments and disciplines will help fuel diverse teaching, research, and technical developments that will contribute to the global blockchain ecosystem. The school is also committed to increasing diversity and inclusion across all its programs, most recently with the addition of a new chief diversity officer and the launch of the Center for Equity, Gender and Leadership.
About the Haas School of Business
As the second-oldest business school in the United States, the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley is one of the world's leading producers of new ideas and knowledge in all areas of business. The school offers outstanding management education to about 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students each year who come from around the world to study in one of its six degree-granting programs.
About the University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is one of the world’s most iconic teaching and research institutions. Since 1868, Berkeley has fueled a perpetual renaissance, generating unparalleled intellectual, economic and social value in California, the United States, and the world. Considered among the best universities in the world and the top public university in the United States, Berkeley has more departments ranked in the top 10 than any other school.
Ripple provides one frictionless experience to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple’s growing, global network, financial institutions can process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world instantly, reliably and cost-effectively. Banks and payment providers can use the digital asset XRP to further reduce their costs and access new markets. With offices in San Francisco, New York, London, Luxembourg, Mumbai, Singapore and Sydney, Ripple has more than 100 customers around the world.