Financial and ID Technologies

IBM and Columbia Team Up to Launch Blockchain Innovation Center

19 July 2018

IBM and Columbia University are launching a research center devoted to innovation in the areas of blockchain technology and data transparency, according to a July 17 press release.

The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency will combine academic, business, government and scientific stakeholders to conduct key research into the use of digital data by blockchain and related technologies.

Specifically, the center will focus on:

-Fostering research and innovation in the areas of data transparency and blockchain across industries.

-Developing new blockchain applications.

-Policy and regulation work around trusted blockchain and data transparency practices.

-Developing new data monetization models that responsibly balance regulatory and data ownership issues.

-Building professional skills in blockchain and data transparency through education and internships.

-Nurturing startups via a business accelerator.

According to the press release, Columbia will contribute academic expertise in the areas of data science, engineering, business and law. IBM will contribute to the research and development end, and also brings practical experience in blockchain product and project development.

"Our work with clients has shown that blockchain can benefit industries and with that comes a responsibility to deploy it in ways that will foster greater trust and transparency in data," said Arvind Krishna, senior vice president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research. "With Columbia, we are able to bring together leading thinkers on applying blockchain and data best practices based on extensive research and business experience and together prepare a new generation of technologists and business leaders."

Blockchain technologies consist of a digital, open ledger used to record and verify secure transactions. While it is usually associated with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and Ethereum, blockchain may become a foundational technology in diverse industries. Blockchain pilot programs in the areas of real estate transactions and renewable energy trading are already underway.

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