Innovation Hub

The Algorand-UCT Financial Innovation Hub

The Hub provides a physical space for innovation that brings together all stakeholders. The overarching goal of the Hub is to create a local ecosystem of academics, students, and entrepreneurs that drive innovation and contribute to the Algorand ecosystem.

The Hub works closely with the esteemed M.Phil in Fintech course, where students are taught hard (coding) skills in order to empower them to start their own company or make a meaningful impact in the financial services industry.

During their Masters thesis, students then have between 3 and 12 months to take an idea from purely academic research and develop it into a prototype. This can be either in the form of an open source project, or in the form of a commercially viable company. The Hub will work in conjunction with these students, providing support to significantly increase the number of students who start their own companies.

Importantly, the Financial Innovation Hub will bring together Masters students with PhD students and Postdoctoral researchers who help translate the latest academic research into viable projects. On the other hand, the Hub will also facilitate the transfer of knowledge from the practical and application realm back to academic work. This will create a virtuous cycle between practically relevant research and research-relevant innovation.The research into blockchain applications falls under three categories. The first, on decentralized finance (DeFi), will explore the benefits of tokenization in a decentralized marketplace. The second category being blockchain for food traceability. And, the third, explores blockchain to manage digital property rights.