IOHK and University of Edinburgh Establish Blockchain Technology Laboratory

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IOHK, a leading Blockchain research and development company and the University of Edinburgh, has 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.”

Founded in 2015 by Charles Hoskinson and Jeremy Wood, IOHK is a technology company committed to using peer-to-peer innovations to provide financial services to the three billion people who do not have access to them. IOHK is an engineering company that builds cryptocurrencies and Blockchains for academic institutions, government entities and corporations. It is also a research firm with dense academic connections in Europe, America and Asia with many employees holding PhDs in Computer Science, Mathematics or Physics. IOHK focuses on practical, peer-reviewed research to create live protocols, and the technological underpinnings to next-generation cryptocurrencies. For more information visit: https://iohk.io/ 

The School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is a world-class research environment in central Edinburgh with a community of over 600 research, teaching and support staff and postgraduate research students. Since the first UK Research Assessment Exercise in 1986 and until the most recent (REF 2014), Informatics at Edinburgh has consistently been assessed to have more internationally excellent and world-class research than any other UK university. The university is also a member of the Alan Turing Institute (jointly with Cambridge, Oxford, UCL, Warwick) thus providing further access to resources in relation to data science and is currently further expanding with the new Data Technology Institute launching in 2018. For more information about the University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/informatics

For more information about The School of Informatics’ Security & Privacy Group visit: http://web.inf.ed.ac.uk/security-privacy

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including Humaniq.co where hs is interim CMO, DECENT.ch, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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