Vancouver’s University of British Columbia Launches Canada’s First Graduate Blockchain Training Programmes

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The University of British Columbia (UBC) is launching Canada’s first blockchain and distributed ledger technology training path for graduate students.

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“As the country’s first graduate blockchain learning path, the initiative is transformative to the blockchain sector in Canada and beyond,” said Victoria Lemieux, UBC iSchool associate professor and [email protected] cluster lead. “The initiative will allow students to develop the skills around emerging technologies that are in high demand as well as drive economic growth as graduates fill the void in the industry.”

The training path will focus on four primary sectors: health and wellness, clean energy, regulatory technology and Indigenous issues, and aims to train 139 students over six years. The initiative is supported by 15 industry partners from a wide range of sectors who will be offering students high-value internships in collaboration with Mitacs. Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. will be a flagship partner, providing funding to support research at the intersection of blockchain and healthcare.

“We are proud to be part of a collaboration that is considered to be the first in Canada offering multidisciplinary graduate education in blockchain technology, developing the next generation of innovators,” said Uli Brödl, vice president, medical and regulatory affairs, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “This collaboration will allow us to grow the knowledge base and expertise of scientists to leverage the value of blockchain technology in healthcare.”

The initiative aims to build capacity for existing master’s and Ph.D. students in this area and help scale Canada’s blockchain industry while also tackling some of the world’s most complex socio-technical issues.

Set to become the world’s most multidisciplinary blockchain training path, the unique initiative will provide students with next-generation tools and applications to address issues in FinTech, engineering and computer science, and information governance through its disciplinary streams.

Mitacs will reserve a potential contribution of $1.324M over six years to match industry funding on an annual basis for up to 18 master’s and eight Ph.D. internships, including skills training and capacity for international experience. This represents a combined potential value of over $2.44M for 156 internships and post-doctoral training projects.

“Mitacs is pleased to support UBC’s graduate blockchain initiative, which will foster innovation and the training of highly skilled talent to strengthen Canada’s leadership in this emerging area of multidisciplinary research and business transformation,” said Mitacs CEO and Scientific Director, Alejandro Adem.

The initiative will be taught by UBC faculty from diverse disciplines, all of whom are well connected with the local community as well as blockchain research centers around the world. As part of the learning outcomes, students can expect to critically analyze blockchain solutions as well as explore innovative areas where blockchain can be applied to achieve business, social and technical benefits.

The training path will officially launch in January 2020.

For more information, visit: https://blockchain.ubc.ca/

The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

[email protected] is a multidisciplinary UBC research cluster focusing on blockchain technology as a central component in investigating the broader research question “How can emerging technologies be leveraged to benefit Canadians?”

They engage in both research and education to advance the design, development and adoption of blockchain technologies. Our research initiatives bring academics and industry partners together to explore pressing issues and advance the emergence of blockchain technologies. Their teaching initiatives span undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels to advance the knowledge and qualifications of students and professionals interested in blockchain technologies. [email protected] receives support through UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters program.

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About Richard Kastelein

Founder and publisher of industry publication Blockchain News (EST 2015), a partner at ICO services collective Token.Agency ($750m+ and 90+ ICOs and STOs), director of education company Blockchain Partners (Oracle Partner) – Vancouver native Richard Kastelein is an award-winning publisher, innovation executive and entrepreneur. He sits on the advisory boards of some two dozen Blockchain startups and has written over 1500 articles on Blockchain technology and startups at Blockchain News and has also published pioneering articles on ICOs in Harvard Business Review and Venturebeat. Irish Tech News put him in the top 10 Token Architects in Europe.

Kastelein has an Ad Honorem - Honorary Ph.D. and is Chair Professor of Blockchain at China's first Blockchain University in Nanchang at the Jiangxi Ahead Institute of Software and Technology. In 2018 he was invited to and attended University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for Business Automation 4.0 programme.  Over a half a decade experience judging and rewarding some 1000+ innovation projects as an EU expert for the European Commission's SME Instrument programme as a startup assessor and as a startup judge for the UK government's Innovate UK division.

Kastelein has spoken (keynotes & panels) on Blockchain technology in Amsterdam, Antwerp, Barcelona, Beijing, Brussels, Bucharest, Dubai, Eindhoven, Gdansk, Groningen, the Hague, Helsinki, London (5x), Manchester, Minsk, Nairobi, Nanchang, Prague, San Mateo, San Francisco, Santa Clara (2x), Shanghai, Singapore (3x), Tel Aviv, Utrecht, Venice, Visakhapatnam, Zwolle and Zurich.

He is a Canadian (Dutch/Irish/English/Métis) whose writing career has ranged from the Canadian Native Press (Arctic) to the Caribbean & Europe. He's written occasionally for Harvard Business Review, Wired, Venturebeat, The Guardian and Virgin.com, and his work and ideas have been translated into Dutch, Greek, Polish, German and French. A journalist by trade, an entrepreneur and adventurer at heart, Kastelein's professional career has ranged from political publishing to TV technology, boatbuilding to judging startups, skippering yachts to marketing and more as he's travelled for nearly 30 years as a Canadian expatriate living around the world. In his 20s, he sailed around the world on small yachts and wrote a series of travel articles called, 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Seas' travelling by hitching rides on yachts (1989) in major travel and yachting publications. He currently lives in Groningen, Netherlands where he's raising three teenage daughters with his wife and sailing partner, Wieke Beenen.

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