A top-ranked private research university based in Cleveland, Ohio, has announced the establishment of the “Cleveland Blockchain and Digital Futures Hub”.
First reported by local media outlet Cleveland.com, Case Western Reserve University (CRWU) President Barbara Snyder announced the hub at the inaugural Blockland Solutions conference, a Northeast Ohio blockchain event and community that endeavors to turn the region into a center for blockchain technology.
Reportedly, the hub will also be examining other cutting-edge technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as virtual reality. It will also be looking to “develop research and build applications” with enterprises, academic institutions, tech accelerators, and the government.
While presently bearing no physical headquarters, central administration and is also yet to be funded, there have been three meetings so far on the CWRU campus, which according to organizers does not indicate that it will be calling the university home.
One of the earliest recruits to Blockland and President of Colorado State University (CSU), Harlan Sands, said:
“Other blockchain educational initiatives usually involve a single company or a lone university… In contrast, Cleveland is poised to leverage the whole continuum of interests: the strength of the community college, the city’s public research institute institution and the regions only AAU (Association of American Universities) research institution.”
Much like blockchain associations, there have been numerous “Blockchain Hubs” popping up all over the world; from Nigeria to Slovenia, these microcosms of expertise and advocacy tend to sprout when blockchain related activities hit a certain point of adoption and discourse in a given jurisdiction.
For Ohio, it was a case of “when” as opposed to “if” one would be set up. The Midwestern state has become the first in the United States to accept bitcoin for tax payments, and most recently, several funds within the bullish state are banding together and have pledged to pool hundreds of millions of dollars into startups developing blockchain solutions for government and business purposes.
The establishment of the hub is rather timely considering the state’s most recent blockchain initiative launch. According to the managing director of the Canadian Blockchain Research Institute, for it to succeed, it will require Cleveland to gather around 1,000 software developers and a dozen or so startups. That said, local blockchain advocate and serial-entrepreneur, Bernie Monero, believes the infrastructure is in place to incubate the startups.
Additionally, Sands noted that CSU and Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) in northeast Ohio are pressing to implement blockchain into technology-related degrees, something of which other academic institutions in the United States are clamoring for.
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