IBM honing blockchain development and skills at Columbia University
Columbia University and IBM have set up a centre devoted to research in blockchain technology and data transparency.
It will include an innovation accelerator to apply blockchain to address growing demands around data transparency, as well as incubate business ideas from entrepreneurial students, faculty and members of the start-up community.
The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency will bring in members from across disciplines: academic, scientific, business and government communities. It aims to explore key issues related to the policy, trust, sharing and consumption of digital data within the blockchain.
“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,” says Arvind Krishna, senior vice-president of Hybrid Cloud and director of IBM Research.
The centre will conduct research, build new tech, and work on potential regulatory frameworks for blockchain and data privacy. It will also hone professional skills and support start-ups through a business accelerator.
Some of the tech to develop includes multi-party computation, homomorphic encryption, secure hardware, fraud reduction, etc.
“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. We anticipate that, through this partnership, we will significantly advance scholarship and applications of data-sharing and data-transparency technologies,” says John H. Coatsworth, Columbia University Provost.
The centre will be supported by a steering committee consisting of Columbia faculty and academic leaders and IBM Research scientists and business leaders. A formal call for proposals for development, business initiatives and research programs is scheduled for later this year.