Among the 10 winners of an international call for proposals promoted by the Algorand Foundation is ACE BRAIN, the new research centre led by Roma Tre University and developed with the European University Institute’s School of Transnational Governance, University Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, and the Ugo Bordoni Foundation. Other prestigious winners include Yale University, the University of Berkeley and the University of Cape Town.
ACE BRAIN, an acronym for ‘ACE BRAIN – Blockchain Regulation And INnovation’, has obtained €4.8 million in funding over five years to carry out multidisciplinary research activities on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, university courses, hackathons, as well as promote accelerators and social impact projects based on blockchain technology.
The ACE BRAIN is distinguished from other ACE LABs by a strong focus on compatibility aspects between blockchain technology and EU legislation.
The research method of the ACE BRAIN sees continuous dialogue between economic-legal and technical-informatics expertise. The team is led by Prof. Maddalena Rabitti of the Department of Business Administration at Roma Tre University. The other coordinators are Prof. Antonella Sciarrone Alibrandi of University Cattolica, Prof. Andrea Renda of European University Institute of Florence, and Prof. Antonio Sassano of Ugo Bordoni Foundation.
The mission of the ACE BRAIN is to promote blockchain as a pillar of the future EU single market and as a basis for a more democratic, resilient and sustainable society, not only in Europe.
”ACE BRAIN also has among its goals the ambition to guarantee the offer of products and services – starting with banking, insurance, financial, energy – the advantages of the public blockchain: security, scalability, decentralization, efficiency, energy saving,” Prof. Maddalena Rabitti affirms. ”The research conducted by Roma Tre University with the other partners aims to develop a new mode of ‘participatory regulation,’ with regulators and the market, also offering university courses, hackathons and events to spread this new culture. Thanks to the Algorand Foundation, the Research Team has the opportunity to make significant progress in research on the most advanced technologies.”
According to Prof. Antonella Sciarrone Alibrandi, deputy vice chancellor of the Catholic University, “For the Catholic University, the creation of the ACE BRAIN is an important opportunity to deepen, from a cross-disciplinary perspective, the potential that this type of blockchain technology offers, in particular, to the banking and financial sector, thanks to the use of smart contracts that can ensure efficiency, financial inclusion and sustainability.”
“With ACE Brain, we are launching a whole new dimension of research on Blockchain 4.0,” says EUI Professor Andrea Renda. “The project envisions all elements from research to education to policy advice in collaboration with a range of key stakeholders that will enable us to make blockchain technology accessible and useful to the world. Our group of partner organisations brings together all the skills and knowledge needed to succeed. We thank the Algorand Foundation for their trust.”
The words of Prof. Sassano :“I’m glad that Fondazione Ugo Bordoni is part of this project, which will allow us to contribute to the evolution of new technologies with scientific insight. Ugo Bordoni Foundation will be the strategic technology partner with expertise in design and development of blockchain based software solutions. Thanks to the integration with economic and legal domains provided by the three Universities partnering this project, we believe we’ll be able to evolve research in the blockchain field, identifying efficient and effective solutions.”
The project includes four main areas: research, education, events and sandbox. Research will be conducted by all four partners, producing scientific publications on Blockchain 4.0 and its compliance with European industry regulations and general European rules. The second area, educational activities, will be conducted at the three universities and will involve the creation of academic courses, MOOCs for global dissemination, and student-led activities such as Living Labs, Hackathons, and thesis presentations. The third area involves events that aim to bridge the gap between the blockchain developer community and European policy actors. As a fourth core activity, ACE BRAIN will launch five ‘sandboxes.’ These are tools that bring together regulators, market players and technology experts to test innovative solutions and identify barriers to their deployment. The sandboxes will cover the core team’s areas of expertise, namely transnational governance, payment systems, finance, insurance and data protection, and will facilitate the development of participatory regulation between institutions and the market.
All results of ACE BRAIN activities will be published in open access