The University of Texas at Austin is among one of the first academic institutions to receive funding from Ripple, the San Francisco-based distributed ledger technology startup.
The company pledged to invest $2 million over the next five years in the university’s McCombs School of Business to support its Blockchain Research Initiative, according to a report from The Daily Texan Thursday.
The funding by Ripple is part of the $50 million it pledged to invest in blockchain research by universities around the world, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Other recipients included Princeton University, MIT and 14 other worldwide institutions, the report said.
However, McCombs School of Business does not yet have a firm plan for how it will direct these funds, said Cesare Fracassi, an associate professor of finance.
Fracassi, who also runs the school’s Blockchain Initiative program, told CoinDesk that the school plans to call for proposals later this year. Projects run by both faculty and graduate students could receive funding from the program.
“Not only the business school but other branches will be able to participate as well. For example, the medical school expressed interest in blockchain research,” Fracassi said.
The relatively-young initiative began in April 2018, when McCombs held its first blockchain conference with roughly 300 participants, he said.
Notable guests included Goldman Sachs senior fintech equity researcher Jim Schneider, IBM Global Blockchain Services’ Jason Kelley, Dell’s Radia Perlman, Ripple director of corporate payments Ryan Gaylor and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission attorney Dave Hirsch.
Fracassi said there will be another conference in 2019.
According to the Blockchain Initiative website, its purpose is to “support faculty and graduate students research on blockchain,” as well as “teach students the main concepts related to blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital payments.” The initiative also intends to facilitate relations with industry and media organizations.