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Universities Will Drive Blockchain for Business

May 2, 2018

Corda is open for business.  Each day, more students and recent graduates contribute towards the growing ecosystem around the enterprise-grade platform built by R3 and it’s development community.

Technologists, researchers, and entrepreneurs from universities have invigorated the community with fresh perspectives, thought-leadership, and ideas for businesses.  Some highlights of student-driven outputs from the first quarter of 2018 include:

  • Cambridge – Consulting project on supply chain use cases across oil, pharmaceutical, and fast moving consumer goods, available as of today here
  • MIT – Market study on Corda ecosystem development for start-ups and Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)   
  • University of Delaware – Research paper, “Cross-Border Settlement Systems: Blockchain Models Involving Central Bank Money,” available as of today at r3.com/research
  • UPenn – Independent study, “Blockchain Applications in Capital Markets”
  • UConn – Research paper comparing cryptocurrency-based and enterprise-based ecosystems

The quarter also involved many visits and discussions (Brown, Fordham, Yale, Temple), several Harvard in Tech events at our NY office, along with collaborations on dozens of academic papers with students around the world.  

From a Research perspective, we have been impressed by the breadth of theses explored by the university community.  The range of topics is endless – we would love to see authors continue to address questions such as:

    1. How can our decentralized netting solutions on Corda (introduced in Project Ubin Phase 2) be adapted to capital markets?  
    2. Start-ups are building on Corda across financial services, healthcare, insurance, and supply chain – what are other areas and use cases where you see Corda delivering business value?  
    3. How will blockchain implementations for self-sovereign identity address the needs for data privacy that consumers today demand?

Further, our university engagement and research focuses on addressing real world business problems – the end aim is commercialization.  For example, each one of our last two university projects have spawned companies building on Corda.

The easier it is for start-ups with good ideas to be successful, the better off the ecosystem will be as the number of start-ups grows.  Many of the companies currently live or soon to go live on Corda are established players, though the health of the ecosystem will also come from the disruptive, small, risk-taking ISVs – the type of company that comes out of universities.  R3 lowers the the barriers of entry for these start-ups by providing a common base platform for companies to build solutions on top of.

The solutions we have seen built on Corda are unique in the blockchain space – they are strictly driven by those that aim to build sustainable enterprise solutions.  They are not retail-focused gambling apps, “cool idea” ICOs launched from a whitepaper with 10-15 misspellings on the first page, or scams created by those intending to flip their coins to grandmas.  They are credible businesses from entrepreneurs that care about value creation and delivery, customer demand, bringing greater efficiencies to cross-company information sharing and interactions, and driving commerce with fewer intermediaries.  The R3 community is driven solely by meaningful work for the enterprise.

There is a 12-18 month runway for most start-ups – we are happy and proud that many entrepreneurs and thought-leaders among university students and recent graduates are embracing and working alongside the R3 community. It is a testament to the original vision of Corda (see here and here), and the continued execution of that vision.  

How can you get involved?  

  1. For future updates on our university engagement, follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/inside_r3 and Linkedin https://www.linkedin.com/company/r3cev-llc/
  2. Have ideas on how to get your campus more involved?  Reach out to universityengagement@r3.com
  3. Co-write or peer review Research, email research@r3.com, and visit https://www.r3.com/research/ to download papers and subscribe to our newsletters
  4. Build your killer distributed app on Corda, and join our development community https://www.corda.net/develop/, and become Corda certified
  5. For less developed start-ups, bounce your early-stage ideas off us at businessideas@r3.com, and we can help to steer you in the right direction, or come by a meet-up to discuss/brainstorm your idea https://meetup.com/pro/corda/
  6. For more developed start-ups, join our partner network https://www.r3.com/ecosystem/