(Article published by Yogita Khatri with same title in CoinDesk)

Ripple, blockchain payments infrastructure firm, informs that its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) is aimed to help grow the blockchain technology ecosystem. Now joining the initiative are Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Morgan State, Kansas, Michigan and Northeastern universities in the U.S., and the National University of Singapore and the University of Sao Paulo internationally.

Last month, Ripple also partnered with the Institute for Fintech Research (THUIFR) at Tsinghua University in Beijing under the UBRI.

Supported by Ripple’s UBRI resources, the institutions will carry out research, develop and launch course materials, host conferences and award scholarships to students pursuing work in blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital payments and related subjects.

Duke and Georgetown Universities, for instance, will support “expanding curriculum and teaching, research and technical projects and collaboration across disciplines”, while the University of Sao Paulo will receive funding for a blockchain innovation program.

With the new additions, the firm now has a total of 29 university partners, according to Ripple.

Ripple launched the initiative in June 2018, committing over $50 million to the effort and partnering with 17 universities from across the globe at the time.

“In less than a year, our initial UBRI partners hit the ground running with the launch of new research projects, events, course offerings and more,” said Ripple’s SVP of global operations, Eric van Miltenburg, in Thursday’s announcement.

“Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners will only continue to enrich these projects,” he added.