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Blockchain Research Centre to be Established in Singapore

A foundation with the world’s greenest and safest blockchain ecosystem has chosen Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) to host a new research and education centre aimed at developing and advancing blockchain technologies.

“As a world-leading University with deep expertise in computer science and related fields, we now aim to groom a pool of talent in blockchain for Singapore. Through research, new programmes and upgrading courses, NTU will equip undergraduates, postgraduates, and industry professionals with cutting-edge blockchain knowledge and know-how, to accelerate industry adoption of the technology,” says Prof Ling San, Deputy President and Provost, NTU.

The industry is eager to collaborate and develop expertise in the blockchain, which is a rapidly evolving field in which NTU faculty have made research breakthroughs. NTU joins other prestigious universities from around the world in receiving this US$50 million programme as the only leading organisation in Asia.

A completely decentralised, safe, and scalable blockchain serves as the foundation, offering a standard platform for creating goods and services for a global economy. The programme’s goal is to create a global network of institutions for blockchain and cryptocurrency research and education that advances interdisciplinary, collaborative, and cutting-edge knowledge and technology.

Over the next five years, the centre hopes to become a hub for blockchain education and research, as well as to foster a vibrant ecosystem to advance blockchain development and adoption in Singapore and throughout the region.

In collaboration with industry partners, the centre will also develop real-world blockchain applications with societal, sustainability, and economic implications for Singapore and the region. Furthermore, the centre’s research will be multidisciplinary, ranging from engineering and computer science to economics and business.

A key focus of the centre, as part of NTU’s 2025 strategic plan to develop new technologies that can solve some of humanity’s greatest challenges, is to develop real-world blockchain applications in collaboration with industry partners, which will have societal, sustainability, and economic impact for Singapore and the region.

One of the five initial blockchain research projects is SGVerse, a metaverse platform for smart grid technologies to be tested around the world. Other projects include enterprise blockchain implementation and blockchain-powered machine learning for financial data management.

An International Blockchain Technical Alliance will also be established to facilitate exchange and cooperation among leading institutes and to promote the use of blockchain technology among key decision makers and the public.

NTU will also look to develop new talent in the field by launching a new Master of Science in Blockchain postgraduate programme and an undergraduate Minor in Blockchain. These modules will educate students on the technology and content, as well as provide hands-on experience on its blockchain platform, promoting technology awareness and adoption in the ecosystem.

Plans are also being developed to turn these modules into bite-sized courses that can be combined to earn a FlexiMaster or micro-credentials, with Continuing Education & Training (CET) courses made accessible online to learners around the globe.

The NTU Smart Campus will serve as an ideal testing ground for new solutions developed because of the Centre’s education, research, and innovation activities. To create an environment where new blockchain technologies can be tested and validated, NTU will create an “Innovation Sandbox” for blockchain as an open testbed. This environment will have the necessary safety precautions in place as well as lax enforcement of certain legal and regulatory requirements. This sandbox will then aid in the industry’s adoption and commercialisation of blockchain technologies.

The centre’s establishment aims to be the epicentre of pioneering blockchain research, knowledge creation, and innovation, catalysing blockchain adoption for socio-economic impact in Singapore, ASEAN, and beyond.

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