Blockchain Research Center Established By IBM And Columbia University

Blockchain, Education, News | July 18, 2018 By:

Columbia University is partnering with tech giant IBM to establish a new center devoted to research, education, and innovation in blockchain technology and data transparency.

Established in 1754, Columbia University is a private Ivy League research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. The university is comprised of 16 undergraduate, graduate and professional schools, and four affiliated colleges and seminaries in Manhattan, and a wide array of research institutes and global centers around the world. It has produced numerous distinguished alumni. In 2017, its undergraduate acceptance rate was 5.5%, making it the third most selective college in the US and the second most selective in the Ivy League.

The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency will draw on Columbia’s academic strengths in data science, engineering, business and law, combined with IBM’s extensive expertise in technology research and development. The center will include an innovation accelerator to incubate business ideas from entrepreneurial students, faculty and members of the startup community. The goal of the new center is to advance compelling new ways to apply blockchain and help address growing demands around data transparency.

“This new center leverages Columbia’s academic strength in data science and engineering as well as our breadth in business, public policy, and law, among many other disciplines,” said John H. Coatsworth, Columbia University Provost. “We anticipate that, through this partnership, we will significantly advance scholarship and applications of data-sharing and data-transparency technologies. The new Center further solidifies New York City as a hub for technical innovation. Our students and faculty, working together with IBM, will play an important role in the vibrant exchange of ideas and research surrounding this transformative technology.”

The center will explore key issues related to the policy, trust, sharing and consumption of digital data when using blockchain and other privacy-preserving technologies. It will advance research in technologies such as secure multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, secure hardware, fraud reduction, and improving precision medicine through insight from collective data sources.

“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.”

The center will be led by a steering committee consisting of Columbia faculty and academic leaders and IBM Research scientists and business leaders. The steering committee will begin accepting formal proposals for curriculum development, business ideas, and research initiatives later this year.