Innovating with blockchain at Arizona State University
As blockchain technology becomes more prevalent, Arizona State University (ASU) aimed to create an open, welcoming environment where academics, scholars, students, faculty, scientists, and entrepreneurs can come together to see this technology positively affect the world and advance knowledge of how to apply it. One way blockchain technology can have a positive effect is by helping businesses embrace their motivation to “go green” and meet environmental sustainability goals that are rooted in their corporate social responsibility commitments.
Embracing technology through a blockchain research lab
Microsoft became a partner with the ASU Blockchain Research Lab in 2019 by providing $21,000 in scholarships for four ASU students as an inaugural project. The ASU lab was launched in 2017 as a way to embrace blockchain technology and create a positive impact on a variety of industries and areas. The lab is comprised of developers, scholars, and innovators working in concert to advance the research and development of blockchain-based tools in business, finance, economics, mathematics, computer science, and more.
Gathering ideas for innovative blockchain uses
The application process for the Blockchain Research Lab scholarships is somewhat unconventional. Interested students develop and submit ideas about how to utilize blockchain to track energy consumption and supply across the various subsystems involved in datacenter operations. This process allows Microsoft to review applications for ideas on how to further integrate blockchain technologies into its operations.
This scholarship program is mutually beneficial to ASU and Microsoft. Students receive financial support for their studies, and Microsoft uses ASU’s expertise to receive an array of ideas for future blockchain projects that maximize use of modern technologies. A key goal of the scholarship program is to further sustainability efforts and green initiatives in production, service, and manufacturing.