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Australia’s Monash University launches blockchain research center for fields of disciplines

Monash University has just launched a research center that will help spread the understanding and application of the technology to other disciplines like law and medicine.

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Tue, 26 Nov 2019, 06:13 am UTC

Monash University, one of the oldest universities in the State of Victoria, Australia, has just launched a blockchain lab that aims to increase the awareness of the technology for its students.

Called the Monash Blockchain Technology Center (MBTC), the new research center will be helmed by Monash University associate professor Joseph Liu who will be acting as its director.

Although the university already has a lab dedicated to this disruptive innovation, it’s currently constrained only to the IT department. Blockchain can be applied to almost any industry so the people behind the initiative want to spread it to other fields as well, ZDNet reported.

“This technology can be applied to many disciplines such as digital health, smart energy, supply chain, or fintech. That's why we want to create a cross interdisciplinary platform at the university level, not just a faculty level,” Liu said.

Building on its success

The internal research lab has already gained considerable experience regarding blockchain tech, case-in-point the cryptocurrency that it created for fintech firm CollinStar Capital. Building on this experience, the university means to use its garnered expertise to try and apply blockchain to other disciplines such as law, business, engineering, and medicine.

All of these sectors stand to gain tremendous advantages from blockchain as one of its features is providing a secure and immutable ledger. For instance, the medical field can use blockchain by utilizing it as a data storage to protect sensitive information of its patients.

Businesses, on the other hand, can use blockchain through tracking products and recording their movement across the supply chain. Indeed, one of the applications that have been cited by the university is the use of blockchain to monitor food provenance.

Creating trust with other nations

“Because Australia is a food exporting country from beef, honey, wine … to other countries such as China, the customer in China wants to make sure the food is really coming from Australia and it's not fake. We can pull this data collected from the farm, the suppliers, logistics, the courier from Melbourne to Shanghai … into the blockchain system, so that the customer in China can track easily that this beef is really coming from Melbourne,” Liu said.

In addition to field applications, Monash University will also offer short courses for business executives that will help them understand how to take advantage of blockchain. CollinStar Capital and Shanghai Jiao Tong University will be partnering with Monash’s IT department to push this initiative forward.

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