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Ripple and University of Nicosia enter multi-year agreement

The University of Nicosia (UNIC) has announced that it has entered a multi-year agreement with Ripple to support its world-leading initiatives in the areas of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, through support of academic research, technical development and student scholarships.

This agreement is part of Ripple’s newly-announced multi-year, multi-million dollar University Blockchain Research Initiative, through which Ripple is funding basic and applied research at some of the leading universities in the area of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency, including UNIC, MIT, Stanford, Princeton, Wharton, UCL and others. Each university in the consortium will determin its own research agenda and areas of focus, while collaborating when and as appropriate. In addition to financial resources, Ripple has also committed to collaborating with its university partners, by providing strategic and technical support.

Within this framework, Ripple will support three specific initiatives at UNIC: (1) Joining as founding corporate member of UNIC’s Institute For the Future (IFF), to support its work in blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies; (2) Funding the Ripple Graduate Fellowship at UNIC, to fund two new post-doc positions for the next three years, and; (3) Funding the Ripple Scholar Scheme at UNIC, offering an annual full scholarship for UNIC’s MSc in Digital Currency for the next five years.

The agreement between Ripple and UNIC is designed to support the rapidly growing demand for research and learning from faculty, students and industry.

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 SVP of Global Operations at Ripple Eric van Miltenburg. “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.”

“UNIC has been at the forefront of teaching and research in the fields of cryptocurrency and blockchain since 2013, with a number of firsts in academia,” said CEO Antonis Polemitis. UNIC was the first university in the world to develop a cryptocurrency course (a MOOC followed by nearly 30,000 students to-date), as well as a full academic programme in the field (MSc in Digital Currencies). UNIC was also the first university in the world to publish academic certificates and diplomas to the blockchain, while it boasts one of the largest teams in academia working on blockchain and cryptocurrency research, development and teaching.

“The field of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency has grown extremely rapidly and it is critical that industry re-invests in academic research and teaching, to ensure that the technical and human capital exists to allow the field to reach its full potential,” Polemitis continued.

The UNIC-Ripple agreement will be effective as of the academic year 2018-2019.

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