University of British Columbia to Launch Blockchain Tech Training for Grad Students

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The University of British Columbia, one of the leading research universities in Canada, is introducing a blockchain technology training path for master’s and PhD students.

The UBC said that the program is first in the country. The course will be centered in four key areas—clean energy, health and wellness, issues for Indigenous residents, and regulatory technology—and will formally launch in January 2020.

Victoria Lemieux, UBC iSchool associate professor and founder of [email protected], said in a statement, “The initiative will allow students to develop the skills around emerging technologies that are in high demand as well as drive economic growth as graduates fill the void in the industry.”

UBC intends to teach 139 students over six years, and develop services for current master’s and PhD students in educationally adjacent areas. Students who are interested to join the training don’t need to have blockchain experience.

The effort is backed by 15 industry partners from a variety of sectors, including Boehringer Ingelheim, a pharmaceutical firm with net sales of roughly 17.5 billion euros last year.

Mitacs, a not-for-profit that partners with municipal and federal governments to boost industrial innovation, will also offer $1.324 million over six years. In addition, the organization will back 18 master’s and eight PhD internship in the field. The partnership will probably cost more than $2.44 million for 156 internships and post-doctoral training projects.

Furthermore, [email protected] also gets funding from the UBC’s Grants for Catalyzing Research Clusters program. Its research papers and projects call for academics and industry partners to address issues in budding blockchain technologies. Previous educational efforts have extended to undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels.

UBC’s most recent initiative will be facilitated by UBC faculty from various disciplines, including FinTech, natural science, computer science and engineering, and information governance, along with non-STEM fields.

“Complex, wicked problems require a collision of perspectives,” Lemieux said, commenting on the challenges in blockchain education.