The Blockchain Research Institute (BRI) was established in 2017 as a network of experts to study the strategic implications of the ‘blockchain revolution’ for small businesses, corporations, and the public sector.
The core management team of the Institute consists of 10 full-time employees but its founding members include some of the largest companies in the world.
IBM, Microsoft, Nasdaq, Accenture, KPMG, PepsiCo, and Deloitte are some of its most well-known founding members. Notable non-profit and government partners include the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care as well as the University Health Network and Toronto City Council.
Since inception, the co-founders, Don and Alex Tapscott have had a single purpose of building an all-inclusive network of national and international organizations.
While most of the founding members were technology companies, things are quickly changing.
By the end of 2017, FedEx, the world’s largest logistics company, had joined the BRI. FedEx can become an invaluable research partner to explore blockchain capabilities in the supply chain, transport, and logistics sector.
As recently as April 2018, 12 new members joined BRI, including Salesforce from the United States, the Austrian banking group Raiffeisen Bank International, BPC Banking Technologies from Switzerland, and the Canadian public relations firm, Navigator Limited.
India’s National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) also announced its partnership with the Blockchain Research Institute to promote the new digital economy in India.
NASSCOM represents 2,200 IT companies in India with a combined value of €154 billion. The partnership will provide a chance for the BRI to work with some of the largest BPO companies in the world.
BRI now has 70+ partnership projects underway with 58 different organizations in 3 continents. Research partnerships are working in the areas of Software, Healthcare, Banking, Media, Retail, Manufacturing, Energy and Public sector policy.
BRI acts as a catalyst and provides a wide variety of services to complement these research projects. For example, all members have access to a private website where the BRI holds webinars, all-member summits and provides a platform for sharing of research activities.
At the conclusion of each research project, the findings and recommendations would be available to the general public under the Creative Commons License, providing a wealth of invaluable information to everyone.
The institute is open to accepting members from corporations, public bodies and other stakeholders from all over the world to enhance and contribute towards the network.
Apart from expanding in North America and Europe, the Blockchain Research Institute will also look to have partners in South East Asia and in particular, China.
Everyone is keen to see what happens next in China and how it impacts the global Blockchain movement.
The Chinese government has an official Blockchain research body called the Blockchain Research Office that works under the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
According to reports, the Ministry is already working to develop ‘national standards’ for Blockchain which might make China the first county in the world to regulate and standardize Blockchain for mass adoption.
If the BRI is able to develop partnerships with public and private organizations in China, the impact on the rest of the members could be huge.
The next couple of years hold exciting opportunities for everyone involved in the development and promotion of Blockchain Technologies and alliances such as BRI will play an integral part in the blockchain revolution about to take place.
By M. Raja, BIG Writer