Oxford Foundry partners with Ripple’s UBRI


The Oxford Foundry has partnered with Ripple's University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI)

The Oxford Foundry has announced its plans to tackle the growing technology skills gap in the UK with a new partnership with leading blockchain technology provider Ripple and its University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI).

Through the Foundry’s new Tech Series, up to 1,000 University of Oxford students from across all Oxford colleges and divisions will be given the opportunity to gain new skills in blockchain, AI and machine learning across different industries. Students will also be given the opportunity to learn how to code in Python and build smart contracts.

The Tech Series will be delivered through the Foundry’s experiential learning model. Mentors, academics and student experts, drawn from Oxford’s networks and vast intellectual capital will deliver and facilitate workshops and bootcamps through peer-to-peer learning and the Zone of Proximal Development. This is the theory that a highly valuable form of learning is from those who are just one or two steps ahead of you on their respective journey. Students are encouraged to work across disciplines and collaborate with people they wouldn’t normally work with to generate ideas and build solutions.

The series will also deliver a Tech Talent Networking Series to connect exceptional student talent with companies that are leading in blockchain and AI, and convene a blockchain thought-leadership group to focus on emerging topics and publish expertise.

The series reflects the Foundry’s mission to build the next generation of ventures that benefit society and create jobs and wealth for the economy. The Foundry is committed to ensuring that talented people have equal and unimpeded access to the opportunities, networks, and resources that will enable them to build strong ventures.

The Foundry was set up by the University of Oxford's Saïd Business School for the benefit of the whole of the University of Oxford, with founding donors Reid Hoffman, Co-founder of LinkedIn and philanthropist Mohamed Amersi.

Ana Bakshi, Director of the Oxford Foundry said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be partnering with Ripple. The UK has a big tech skills gap and we’re helping address that. Since 2014 the number of AI job postings has increased by 485% and a quarter of companies highlight that a lack of available AI talent is a primary inhibitor in their efforts to adopt AI (Gartner). There are 2.4 million students studying at universities in the UK and we have a responsibility as a university to nurture our future global workforce and give them the skills and experience they need to succeed.

Tech skills are valuable whatever career students have ahead of them. They open up new career pathways in entrepreneurship and venture creation and we’re creating a new generation of ventures that use this tech for good and put society and the environment first, right from the beginning. We’re passionate about building equal opportunities and nurturing talent from all demographics.

Ripple’s support will help us give tech skills to more students and continue to build our Foundry community. We’ve already created a network of 3,000 entrepreneurial student members, and our ventures have raised over £8m. We’re excited to see what’s next and how we can use the very latest technologies to build sustainable, world-changing solutions to society’s challenges. We’re very grateful to Ripple for giving us this opportunity.”

Eric van Miltenburg, SVP of Global Operations at Ripple said, “Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative was founded to support university-level research and innovation in blockchain around the world. Today, a key focus of the initiative is to address the blockchain skills gap as the need for talent in this emerging technology category continues to grow. In fact, an earlier study found that 89 percent of UK employers expect a shortage of skilled technology professionals in the next year — and we believe academia plays a key role in preparing the next generation of students through courses, workshops and activations related to blockchain and financial technology.” 


About Ripple

Ripple provides one frictionless experience to send money globally using the power of blockchain. By joining Ripple’s growing, global network (RippleNet), financial institutions can process their customers’ payments anywhere in the world instantly, reliably and cost-effectively. Banks and payment providers can use the digital asset XRP to further reduce their costs and access new markets. With offices in San Francisco, Washington D.C., New York, London, Mumbai, Singapore, São Paulo, Reykjavik and Dubai, Ripple has more than 300 customers around the world.

About UBRI

The University Blockchain Initiative (UBRI) is a partnership between Ripple and top universities around the world to support academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments. Ripple is providing both financial and technical resources to university partners and collaborates with faculty and students on research and technical projects.

For more information about Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative and its partners, visit https://ubri.ripple.com

About the Oxford Foundry

The Oxford Foundry is the University of Oxford’s entrepreneurship centre. The Foundry supports all 24,000 students at Oxford, as well as all alumni, to better society through entrepreneurship. The Foundry does this through knowledge exchange, multi-disciplinary collaboration and experiential skills training.

The Foundry is building a new generation of ventures that, whilst commercial, are focused on people first. To date, the 19 ventures on the Foundry’s L.E.V8 accelerator have raised over £8m, created 70 jobs globally, and are creating positive impact around the world across all sectors and industries.

With 2.4 million students studying at universities within the UK, the Foundry is committed to playing an essential role in shaping our future workforce, future leaders and future businesses to support the economy and society. The Foundry’s work complements academic structures and builds on Oxford’s world-leading education and research excellence, leveraging on Oxford’s vast intellectual capital, opportunities, resources and networks.

In 24 months the Foundry has engaged 3,000+ students, launched a women-led pre-accelerator programme, an accelerator programme, delivered 7,000+ hours of experiential learning and formed global partnerships.