The University of Florida (UF) College of the Arts is partnering with global blockchain firm Algorand to establish a research and development (R&D) lab focused on blockchain technologies.
The UF’s core goal is to provide accessible and open-source blockchain education to students and the general public, free of charge.
In partnership with the @AlgoFoundation, Professor Marko Suvajdzic launches the @UFDigitalWorlds Blockchain Lab to expand education opportunities for UF students and global Algorand users. https://t.co/1YeQif5vWs
— UF College of the Arts (@UFCOTA) January 25, 2022
The newly-founded lab marks a turning point in education, Programme Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of Digital Arts and Sciences, Marko Suvajdzic said, adding,
“The creation of the Blockchain Lab at UF marks a significant moment in the history of the university, akin to the first labs dedicated to internet technology in the mid-90s”
Established through the UF’s Digital Worlds Institute, the R&D lab will focus on enhancing blockchain education for students and Algorand users as well as developing academic courses, university competitions, and student club activities.
Jamie Kraft, Director of UFs Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, suggested that the Algorand collaboration will spur the “growth of blockchain-based startups on the UF campus.”
“The blockchain lab will provide expert consultations to the student entrepreneurs on campus, while Algorand will provide a technology platform to build upon it”
Additionally, Tim Difato, Acting Director of Digital Worlds, is committing to six online courses that will inform students on blockchain and how to apply the emerging technology.
For the general public, the blockchain R&D lab is providing four non-credit courses designed to explore the public use of Algorands technology.
To assist in establishing the blockchain Lab at UF, Algorand has also awarded Suvajdzic with a $270,000 grant under the Education and Community arm of its $250 million ALGO Grants Program.
ALGO Grants Program
Algorand looks to use blockchain and cryptocurrency technology to provide users with a decentralised alternative to traditional finance and banking. The firm’s vision foresees a financial world without barriers, thanks to emerging technology.
The Boston-based blockchain company splits its grants programme into four key categories: Development, Tools and Infrastructure, Research, and Education & Community.
The firm will award grants to the projects that best suit Algorand’s goals in growing innovation and development across its blockchain ecosystem, namely for projects covering emerging technologies such as blockchains, cryptocurrencies, token economics, distributed systems, and AI.
Also, the firm will award further grants to projects that provide tools to enhance and support Algorand’s blockchain platform. In addition, Algorand is awarding money to teams that propose real-world blockchain use-cases or educational and community engagement projects.