Ripple is bolstering its presence in Europe by expanding its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) programme. Celebrating its fifth year, UBRI welcomes four prominent European universities to its roster: Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), EPITA (France), IE Madrid (Spain) and University of Trento (Italy).
These collaborations aim to foster blockchain education and research across the continent.
Since its establishment in 2018, UBRI has committed over $11million to its now 14 European partner universities. This expansion also coincides with Europe’s ambitious goals of becoming a global crypto hub, as evident in its Market in Crypto Assets (MiCA) legislation, designed to provide regulatory clarity for crypto growth and mainstream adoption. UBRI is dedicated to supporting this vision by offering education that keeps pace with the rapidly evolving crypto landscape.
Eric van Miltenburg, SVP strategic initiatives at Ripple, stressed the importance of equipping the next generation with knowledge and practical skills essential for real-world blockchain utility.
“As UBRI celebrates its fifth year of supporting global universities to both drive and transform blockchain education and research, four leading universities with budding talent will now benefit from brand new ways to explore, create and grow in the worlds of blockchain and crypto.
“It’s crucial that we arm the next generation with the knowledge and practical skills needed to build on blockchain technology for real-world utility. By providing more regulatory clarity — which means more opportunities for crypto projects to thrive — Europe is primed to accelerate this mission.”
As part of the partnership, IE Madrid will host a three-day virtual asset regulation workshop to prepare students for the regulation-driven crypto industry, promoting applied research, entrepreneurship, and corporate transformation.
Ikhlaq Sidhu, Dean at IE University in Spain, said: “IE University is proud to drive and prepare our next generation of leaders toward a crypto- and blockchain-enabled economy with the support of UBRI for years to come.”
Ripple is also deepening its collaboration with the Centre for Blockchain Technologies (CBT), originally launched at University College London (UCL) with UBRI’s support. Now named UK CBT, this national network of blockchain research and education initiatives extends beyond UCL to include Birmingham and Edinburgh, with further expansion planned.
UK CBT will continue to contribute to XRPL-related projects and facilitate XRPL innovation and adoption through workshops, accelerator programs, and conference support.
Dr. Paolo Tasca, founder and director of UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies, stated: “With the support of Hedera, together with Ripple’s UBRI, we are shaping a future where blockchain revolutionises socio-economic systems and propels the UK to the forefront of technological leadership.”
Ripple is currently hosting its third annual Apex XRPL Developer Summit in Amsterdam, marking the conference’s European debut. UBRI maintains a partnership with TU Delft in the Netherlands. Prior to the summit, UBRI organised the XRPL Hackathon – Apex 2023, catering to European partners and beyond. The on-campus contest featured high-level challenges, with top prizes awarded to visionary projects, including XRPL Charity and ZeroEnter.