As part of Ripple’s $50 million pledge for blockchain research, the crypto firm has said it will give $2 million over five years to the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas in Austin. Through the initiative, graduate students and faculty may potentially receive funding for projects, CoinDesk reported.
“Not only the business school but other branches will be able to participate as well,” said Cesare Fracassi, associate professor of finance at the university. “For example, the medical school expressed interest in blockchain research.”
Though the school doesn’t have a plan on how it will use the funds, it plans to ask for proposals later in 2018. The school already held its inaugural blockchain conference. That event, held in April, brought in approximately 300 participants and speakers, including Goldman Sachs Senior FinTech Equity Researcher Jim Schneider and Dell‘s Radia Perlman. Going forward, Fracassi said another conference will take place next year.
The news comes as Ripple had unveiled a $50 million fund for universities called the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), The Next Web reported. Through the program, Ripple plans to provide funding to universities for cryptocurrency, blockchain and digital payment initiatives. As of now, Ripple has partnered with universities including MIT and UC Berkeley.
Additionally, the news comes as Ripple announced in April that it had invested $25 million of its XRP cryptocurrency in Blockchain Capital’s $150 million fund Blockchain Capital Parallel IV. In a press release, Ripple said Blockchain Capital is the first fund focused solely on the blockchain space and is also the first to accept capital calls in cryptocurrency.
“Blockchain Capital is the premiere fund for any project looking to get off the ground in the blockchain space. They have a proven track record for finding and funding the projects that matter,” said Patrick Griffin, SVP of Strategic Growth at Ripple. “This is the first fund that we’ve contributed to, and it won’t be the last. We plan to be major players in shaping the future generation of blockchain or crypto companies.”