IOHK, a leading blockchain research and development company and the University of Edinburgh, today announced the establishment of a Blockchain Technology Laboratory within the university’s School of Informatics. The lab will bring together academics and students to collaborate on blockchain research and development with a focus on industry inspired problems. The laboratory’s launch event will be held at the University of Edinburgh on February 24, 2017.
IOHK CEO and Co-Founder Charles Hoskinson said: “IOHK is delighted to be partnering with the University of Edinburgh, a world-leading institution in information, cognition and computing research and teaching. The partnership will develop IOHK’s core business area, cryptocurrencies and blockchain related technologies, and nurture and develop the global talent in these areas in the United Kingdom.”
The research lab at the University of Edinburgh will also serve as the headquarters for IOHK’s growing network of global university partnerships. Tokyo Institute of Technology launched a similar centre with IOHK on February 15, 2017. IOHK expects to establish further research laboratories in the United States and Greece later this year, and has plans for more the following year.
The Blockchain Technology Laboratory will be led by Prof. Aggelos Kiayias, Chair in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh and Chief Scientist at IOHK. As Director of the lab, Prof. Kiayias will organise collaborations with fellow academics at the university and oversee researchers and students from undergraduate to PhD level in a broad range of topics related to blockchain systems. Research collaborations will be interdisciplinary and will include, beyond cryptography and computer science, economics, game theory, regulation and compliance, business, and law. The lab will provide a direct connection between developers and researchers, helping to get projects live faster and aims to pursue outreach projects with entrepreneurs in Edinburgh’s vibrant local technology community. Recruiting and outreach will begin immediately, and the full facility will be operational from summer 2017, located in the School of Informatics’ newly refurbished Appleton Tower.
Professor Kiayias said: “We are very excited regarding this collaboration on blockchain technology between the School of Informatics and IOHK. Distributed ledgers is an upcoming disruptive technology that can scale information services to a global level. The academic and industry connection forged by this collaboration puts the Blockchain Technology Lab at Edinburgh at the forefront of innovation in blockchain systems.”
IOHK is committed to developing industry standards and best practices that progress the field of cryptography. In contrast to other industry-university partnerships, IOHK’s collaboration with the University of Edinburgh ensures that all funded research and development will be open source and patent-free.
The Principal of the University of Edinburgh, Sir Timothy O’Shea, said: “We are delighted to be at the forefront of UK institutions in the field of distributed ledgers and proud to have a dedicated research laboratory for industry inspired research in this important emerging area.”
Jeremy Wood, IOHK Co-Founder said: “IOHK’s partnership with the University of Edinburgh provides unique opportunities for current students to become the next generation of blockchain and cryptography leaders. As a headquarters for IOHK’s international academic research community, we expect to see the university facilitate innovative projects that drive how businesses and governments approach blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”