Ripple Renews Partnership With Morgan State University to Support Blockchain Innovators Across HBCUs

Ripple, a global payments and financial solutions provider, is intensifying blockchain education in the US through its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), renewing its $1.05 million partnership with Morgan State University to bolster blockchain innovators across America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

Over the past six years, the Ripple UBRI has played a pivotal role in establishing a crucial foundation and learning environment for the next generation of blockchain engineers. The renewed funding provided to Morgan State will further deepen the progress achieved as a result of Ripple’s earlier grant to the university and create avenues for new programming and research opportunities for both students and faculty.

With a network of over 50 university partners spanning 26 countries, offering more than 600 new or expanded fintech courses and facilitating 1,500 academic blockchain research projects, UBRI has become the gold standard for blockchain education, research, and inclusive economic development.

Eric van Miltenburg, Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at Ripple, underscored the significance of this partnership, stating, “The demand for crypto and blockchain knowledge among our next generation is growing, and the HBCUs in the UBRI network are leading the charge to ensure that this interest is nurtured and supported. We are eager to witness how Morgan State continues to empower its students and spearhead ambitious projects that will diversify the XRP Ledger ecosystem for years to come.”

Building on Past Successes:
Since its inception in 2018, the partnership between Morgan State and UBRI has expanded its technological capabilities, set new standards for academic excellence, and fostered an environment of innovation. Notable achievements include the establishment of innovative programming such as the student-led MorganHacks, which attracted approximately 150 students from seven HBCUs this year and featured an XRP Ledger (XRPL) workshop and Finance Challenge Statement from Ripple. The winning project, CarbonKarma, utilizes decentralized, community-driven incentives to reward travelers for opting for sustainable options.

Looking Ahead:
With the latest grant, Morgan State aims to amplify its efforts, engage other HBCUs, and combine collaborative research with real-world applied learning opportunities to cultivate a pipeline of diverse, skilled, and highly trained professionals ready to excel in enterprise blockchain jobs. Proposed activities include cutting-edge research initiatives intersecting blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML), XRPL development workshops and programs, and an annual national blockchain and fintech conference.

Ali Emdad, Ph.D., Interim Dean for the Earl G. Graves School of Business and Management and Director of the National FinTech Center at Morgan State, expressed gratitude for Ripple’s ongoing support through the UBRI grant, highlighting its transformative impact on Morgan’s National FinTech Center programs and its role in fostering an inclusive and creative educational environment.

Integrating New Technologies:
At the core of the partnership with UBRI is Morgan State’s National FinTech Center, serving as the hub of the HBCU Blockchain and FinTech Network. With the establishment of the National Center for the Study of Blockchain and FinTech Operations and the renewed UBRI grant, Morgan State aims to advance a cross-disciplinary approach that deeply integrates data analytics, AI, and ML into blockchain research and education.

Shaping the Future:
As blockchain continues to flourish within academia, UBRI remains committed to expanding its support for cutting-edge research, technical development, and innovation in blockchain and crypto on campuses worldwide. The renewed partnership with Morgan State will contribute to cultivating a new generation of leaders equipped with the knowledge and skills to navigate the evolving digital economy, ensuring that HBCUs remain at the forefront of innovation in finance and technology.


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