The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency brings together cross-disciplinary teams to advance innovation in blockchain and data transparency and closely associated topics for the good of society that will drive new science and technology, develop thought leadership and influence policy. Our aim is support not just cutting-edge research in the underlying technologies that allow secure data sharing, but also invent new business models, services, and policies, and incubate start-ups that would commercialize the applications of these technologies.
The relationship between Columbia and IBM is based on a legacy of partnership. In 1945, IBM founded its Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory at Columbia University. On 17 July 2018 Columbia and IBM reaffirmed this partnership by establishing the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency.
Delivering education, research and innovation
The Center is focused on delivering education, research, and innovation in the areas of data sharing, fair use of data, blockchains and related technologies.
As of this year we have created five new courses on the fundamentals and applications of blockchain as well as the theoretical and technical foundations of data transparency. Our courses sit across the business school, the school of public affairs, the law school, and the engineering school. We encourage proposals from multidisciplinary teams of faculty and by faculty in partnership with IBM. As an example, in the class Blockchains and their Applications, experts from IBM participated in students’ final presentations, providing ideas and input on student projects.
Within the research track, we’ve launched and promoted fundamental research, surveys, thought leadership, whitepapers, and collaborative workshops — the most recent on IoT and blockchain and another this fall on the ethical and privacy challenges of noninvasive brain computer interface data. Our faculty have written 30 papers and are continuing to up that count.
The Center has launched nine research projects on blockchain and data transparency, all of which were featured in the recent Showcase Kickoff event and will be highlighted in four upcoming sessions. Be sure to sign up for these sessions, which will feature research from Columbia faculty, blockchain and data transparency focused curriculum, speakers from IBM, and pitches from Columbia-IBM Launch Accelerator teams. You will have the opportunity to engage with our presenters throughout the sessions.
Upcoming sessions will cover topics such as building incentives for data transparency and blockchains, systems implementation for technology, a session covering the economics, policy, privacy and ethics of blockchain implementation, and current innovations and the future of supply chains. Don’t miss a single one!
Enabling students to innovate
The innovation accelerator enables teams of students to seek real-world applications of blockchain and data transparency. We are incubating projects for managing personal data in healthcare, DNA curation, real estate certification, food supply chain management, and others.
By combining elements of lean launchpad methodology, mentorship, technical workshops, and ignition funding to help validate whether a project is worth pursuing as a real-world commercial application, the accelerator has successfully ushered through two cohorts of teams and will be recruiting for their third cohort this fall.
This summer marks the 2-Year Anniversary of the Center. To celebrate these and other amazing accomplishments of The Columbia IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency, so be sure to join us.