Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK), a fintech company specializing in blockchain technology, has signed two partnership deals with the University of Edinburgh and the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) to further advance blockchain research.
Last week, IOHK and the University of Edinburgh launched the Blockchain Technology Laboratory. Located within the university’s School of Informatics, the lab aims to bring together academics and students to collaborate on blockchain research and development with a focus on industry inspired problems.
The lab is led by Prof. Aggelos Kiayias, chair in Cyber Security and Privacy at the University of Edinburgh and chief scientist at IOHK. Prof. Kiayias will organize 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.
Prof. Kiavias said that blockchain and distributed ledgers are upcoming disruptive technologies that have the potential to 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,” he added.
Sir Timothy O’Shea, the principal of the University of Edinburgh, 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.”
The lab will provide a direct connection between developers and researchers, helping to get projects live faster. It will also seek 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.
A network of global university partnerships
The new research lab at the University of Edinburgh will serve as the headquarters for IOHK’s growing network of global university partnerships. The company plans to establish further research laboratories in the US and Greece later this year and more in 2018.
Earlier this month, the Tokyo Institute of Technology launched a similar center with IOHK.
The Input Output Cryptocurrency Collaborative Research Chair, within the Tokyo Tech School of Computing, focuses on promoting joint research in cryptocurrencies and blockchain related technologies among teams of researchers and professors of the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and IOHK.
In particular, researchers from IOHK will join Tokyo Tech, while professors and graduate students will tackle industry challenges in this rapidly developing area of research.
Similarly to the Blockchain Technology Laboratory, the Cryptocurrency Collaborative Research Chair aims to nurture talent and develop high-level expertise in cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
Commenting on the launch, Yoshinao Mishima, president of Tokyo Tech, said:
“This agreement is important because Tokyo Tech is seeking to enhance the collaboration with industries and universities in Japan and abroad by producing groundbreaking results in research and engineering which will be published in internationally renowned scientific journals and conferences.”
The two organizations have committed to produce knowledge via joint activities such as seminars as well as the production of academic papers. Another activity is to open courses related to blockchain technologies like lectures about cryptographic protocols and cryptocurrencies offered to Tokyo Tech students.
Like the Blockchain Technology Laboratory, all research and developments undertaken in the laboratory will be open source and patent-free.