The Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research & Engineering (IC3RE) at Imperial College London has joined forces with blockchain investment group outlierventures.io to undertake a 3-year R&D program focused on the convergence of industrial blockchain with other ‘deep tech’ technologies like IoT, machine learning and autonomous robotics. The idea is to help academia and corporations move rapidly from proof-of-concepts to scaling commercial businesses.
The program was first conceived mid-2016 when both organisations began to discuss the need for a holistic approach to innovation in blockchain, best thought of as foundational to enabling other technologies on their own or in combination to scale securely when applied to complex markets. Bringing together world-leading experts and emerging talent in areas such as Big Data, Machine Learning and Cryptography combined with experienced investors and entrepreneurs was seen as a huge and unique advantage when compared to the typical siloed approaches seen in the market.
Each year the program will focus on a single unifying theme, set by a joint committee of IC3RE and Outlier Ventures staff, where it is felt convergence to be most impactful to industry and society. The 2017-2018 program theme will be Industry 4.0, with key topics including securing industrial 3D printing for spare parts, IoT and automation of robotics. The program will feature collaborations with a number of leading European manufacturers, IT and ERP providers. Corporate partners from Outlier Ventures pioneering venture platform will be invited to collaborate with students through applied research to deliver solutions that meet their strategic business needs. It is the ambition, where appropriate, these will be spun out into startups financed by Outlier and its partners.
Jamie Burke CEO of Outlier Ventures comments: ‘’From day one we want to align all stakeholders needs; from students to the large corporations they want to work with, as well as us as investors to make sure startups can quickly establish product-market fit, secure investment and win key partners and clients in order to rapidly scale into trading businesses’’.
The program will work across all key academic cycles throughout the year with both undergraduate and postgraduate students working on briefs from Outlier Ventures and its partners, allowing them to access some of the brightest minds from both Imperial’s student body and IC3RE’s directors including: Prof William Knottenbelt (Professor of Applied Quantitative Analysis in the Department of Computing), Dr Catherine Mulligan (Research Fellow in Imperial College Business School), and Dr Robert Learney (Dyson Fellow in the Department of Bioengineering).
Imperial sought Outlier Ventures because of their strong reputation as early-stage investors in the ecosystem who actively help startups in blockchain and more recently in the field of convergence navigate technical, regulatory and commercial risks and unknowns in this emergent web paradigm they believe to be Web 3.0.
William Knottenbelt, Co-Director of IC3RE comments: “We share Outlier Venture’s vision of the potential benefits of the convergence of blockchain technology with deep tech. We are looking forward to our joint exploration of this exciting space.”
Innovations expected to emerge from the program include machine-to-machine payments, cryptographically unique and secure digital assets as well as legally enforceable smart contracts.
Notes to Editors:
About Outlier Ventures:
Outlier Ventures was set up in 2013 to invest in and build blockchain startups in the emerging Web 3.0 startup space. Since then having met with over 1,220 startups from around the world and invested in a growing portfolio of companies it has refined its thesis to that of ‘blockchain enabled convergence’, or just ‘Convergence’ for shorthand, following a whitepaper published in Oct 2016.
This has led to a focus on connecting startups with incumbents and academia to accelerate innovation and grow the industry through content and thought leadership including a global network of events from Silicon Valley to Berlin, Bangalore and Tokyo called www.convergence.vc
For further information on Outlier Ventures contact:
Jamie Burke | CEO | firstname.lastname@example.org | www.outlierventures.io | www.convergence.vc
About Imperial College London:
Imperial College London is one of the world’s leading universities. The College’s 16,000 students and 8,000 staff are expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, and translating their discoveries into benefits for society.
Founded in 1907, Imperial builds on a distinguished past – having pioneered penicillin, holography and fibre optics – to shape the future. Imperial researchers work across disciplines to improve health and wellbeing, understand the natural world, engineer novel solutions and lead the data revolution. This blend of academic excellence and its real-world application feeds into Imperial’s exceptional learning environment, where students participate in research to push the limits of their degrees.
Imperial collaborates widely to achieve greater impact. It works with the NHS to improve healthcare in west London, is a leading partner in research and education within the European Union, and is the UK’s number one research collaborator with China.
Imperial has nine London campuses, including its White City Campus: a research and innovation centre that is in its initial stages of development in west London. At White City, researchers, businesses and higher education partners will co-locate to create value from ideas on a global scale.
The Imperial College Centre for Cryptocurrency Research and Engineering (IC3RE), was established in April 2015 in recognition of the potential for blockchain and other kinds of distributed ledger technology to fundamentally change the way human society deals with contracts, identity, patents, copyright, votes, and more. The centre has already run a large number of blockchain-related student projects and advised UK and international governments on blockchain and distributed ledgers.