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Ripple’s UBRI Partnership With The University Of Texas At Austin Has Been A Huge Success

Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) continues to move forward. In a report from earlier today, a professor involved with the UBRI at the University of Texas at Austin acknowledged that Ripple’s program has been a success so far.

In a blog post from earlier this week on Ripple.com, the payment processing company featured an interview with UT Austin Professor Cesare Fracassi. Professor Fracassi is leading the UBRI project at UT Austin.

Here’s how Ripple described the result of the initiative thus far:

“Fracassi believes the primary UBRI program outcomes at UT Austin should be to advance blockchain beyond this initial phase by helping students learn about the underlying technology and its potential applications in the real world — so they can better separate the hype from the reality. He says that as academics, they do not have businesses at stake and so can cast a more critical eye on the space.”

Ripple’s UBRI is dedicated to improving blockchain technology research across the country.

At the University of Texas at Austin, blockchain research is led by the campus-based Blockchain Initiative run by the McCombs School of Business. The school also holds an annual blockchain conference.

According to Ripple’s blog post, all of these initiatives have been successful so far, and the company expects more success in the future.

“Professor Fracassi’s ultimate goal is to leverage UBRI to accelerate what he sees as lagging understanding of blockchain in academia. By expanding its presence on the UT Austin campus and building an interdisciplinary approach to its study, he believes students will be best set up to advance blockchain innovation after graduation.”

Professor Fracassi has a personal interest in blockchain technology. Prior to leading the UBRI project, Professor Fracassi taught fintech courses at the university. He was also instrumental in creating UT Austin’s Blockchain Initiative.

Professor Fracassi’s courses cover all of the following topics:

  • Machine learning and AI
  • Internet of Things (IoT)
  • Blockchain

The Professor also believes that blockchain is an interdisciplinary endeavor, which is why it’s so important for universities to start pushing blockchain academia forward today:

“Professor Fracassi suggests that one reason blockchain is so important to the University is its interdisciplinary nature. He observed that academia is traditionally a highly specialized world where teams and students focus on one area of study.”

Ripple’s UBRI has injected funds into Professor Fracassi’s program. These funds have allowed the school to expand the course. This spring, Professor Fracassi expects about 200 students to enroll in the course.

Today, UT Austin’s blockchain courses include MBA, graduate level business analytics and computer science, and undergrad students.

Ripple is also funding additional work through UBRI, and they expect the funds to be used to hire more personnel in the future:

“UBRI funds will allow for a new fintech-focused track, the addition of more faculty to focus on the topic, and more professional development and subject matter expertise among existing faculty. All of this is geared to funding three UBRI program goals: support for research, support for teaching, and outreach to the community in Austin and Texas more broadly.”

The ultimate goal is to make UT Austin a growing hub for blockchain research. The school expects to continue pushing forward with university-wide research into blockchain technology while encouraging the growth of the next wave of blockchain experts.

Although the UBRI program is relatively new, the program has big goals of the future. By year two or three, Professor Fracassi hopes to have blockchain technology fully embedded into the university.

Ultimately, Ripple is one of the most successful blockchain companies to date. Now, Ripple is using some of its funds to finance cutting-edge blockchain research at the University of Texas at Austin. According to the Ripple.com blog post from earlier this week, the UBRI project is a smashing success so far – and it’s best days may still be yet to come.

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