MouseBelt, an ecosystem promoting blockchain, has announced its latest initiative – encouraging blockchain innovation through education via the ‘Blockchain Education Alliance’ (BEA). The alliance’s first members — Stellar Development Foundation, TRON, Hedera, ICON, Ontology, Wanchain, Harmony One, Nervos, Orbs, LTO Network, Emurgo, NEM, and ETC Labs — will work collectively to provide university students with the knowledge (and connections) necessary to enter the workforce with practical blockchain skills.
“Students are demanding blockchain education,” said Ashlie Meredith, Director of MouseBelt University. “Universities need established experts in the space to help develop curriculum and projects — and Stellar, TRON, Hedera, ICON, Ontology, Wanchain, Harmony One, Nervos, Orbs, LTO Network, Emurgo, NEM, and ETC Labs are well positioned to share valuable knowledge. We have an opportunity to have a positive impact on how blockchain technology is introduced to students, which will result in more blockchain developers, more innovative research, and higher quality companies.”
MouseBelt’s Blockchain Education Alliance
The BEA proposes, in Mousebelt’s words, to “cultivate a network of 20 leaders in both industry and academia to jointly develop educational initiatives to accelerate mass adoption of blockchain technology”. To achieve this MouseBelt proposes to organise:
- face-to-face meetings
- and more.
The common objective is to support collaboration. Members will also be able engage with researchers for the development of new use cases – ones addressing specific challenges in specific industries.
The BEA is the most recent development of MouseBelt’s University Program. This comprises a network of more than 60 student blockchain organisations in 14 countries. Through its UC Blockchain Initiative, Mousebelt has also established partnerships with selected University of California engineering departments worldwide, including at:
- UC Davis.
Future steps and participant options
MouseBelt is now inviting administrators, researchers and policy makers plus enterprise and industry professionals to work collectively to cultivate the next generation of blockchain leaders. The hope is that BEA members will provide mentorship through the University Program by:
- advising during office hours
- hosting workshops
- providing educational content.
There are multiples ways to participate – for example:
- enterprise partners can connect with leading educational institutions to fund research, academic conferences, and accredited blockchain courses addressing various use cases
- developers, platforms, and protocols can help deploy real-world pilots of solutions in collaboration with students, researchers, and MouseBelt’s development shop
- partner organisations can become eligible to receive training and resources to further blockchain skillsets with employees.
This will be the third semester MouseBelt has offered educational content, advising, and funding for student blockchain organizations. With the launch of the Blockchain Education Alliance, MouseBelt hopes to bring more resources to students’ activities.
MouseBelt describes itself (somewhat cumbersomely) as an “ecosystem that promotes blockchain innovation by supporting hands-on development for the projects, individuals, and emerging leaders that are pushing the industry forward.” It has a three-pronged approach which spans all the touch points in the blockchain space:
- an accelerator, to support early-stage companies with capital and in-kind investments
- blockchain advice, to support developers and projects with open-source tools and a development shop
- the media and university projects encourage involvement with blockchain for newcomers to the technology.
Enterprise Times: what does this mean
Mousebelt, as a blockchain accelerator, is seeking to establish a network of industry leaders. Driving blockchain innovation – through education, research and entrepreneurship at universities – makes sense. In addition, MouseBelt says it will announce additional members in the near future (for any enterprise interested, see: https://partners.mousebelt.university).
What is missing from the Mousebelt BEA initiative is detail about what a ‘student’ will receive. In the quest to attract enterprises there is a marked, to Enterprise Times, lack of focus on the skills a student might expect to obtain. To Enterprise Times (again), enterprises will want to know much more about the detail of what will be learned before they will pony up. ‘Learning about blockchain innovation’ is too vague. There is also a curious lack of information about teaching staff on the MouseBelt University web site.