Aarhus University Seal

DKK 50 million for non-targeted research into better blockchain technology

The Concordium Blockchain Research Centre at the Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University opens on 1 February 2019. The centre will be researching into blockchain technology, with focus on security, transparency and general usability. The Concordium Foundation is donating funding of DKK 50 million (EUR 6.6 million) over five years.

Jesper Buus Nielsen, professor and centre director. Photo: Mette B. Klausen
Jesper Buus Nielsen, professor and centre director. Photo: Mette B. Klausen

Blockchain technology is considered as one of the most important technological discoveries in recent times. The technology is expected to revolutionise foreign exchange systems, strengthen copyrights and digitalise electoral systems. So far, however, the technology has had a slightly tarnished reputation due to problems with security, transparency and usability, among other things. A new research centre at the Department of Computer Science at Aarhus University will now try to solve these problems.

"Our goal is to gather experience from previous generations of blockchains, compare this with the research we have conducted here at the department over the past ten years, and on the basis of this comparison forge new knowledge about the technology," says Professor Jesper Buus Nielsen, who is heading the Concordium Blockchain Research Centre at Aarhus University.

"This is non-targeted research, and all our results will be made publicly available. We see considerable untapped potential in blockchain technology, and we hope to help improve how it is used in society and make its use more widespread. Therefore, we’re very grateful for the support for our non-targeted research that we've now received from the Concordium Foundation," says Jesper Buus Nielsen.

The new centre is being funded by the Concordium Foundation, a newly established non-profit foundation that is developing the Concordium Blockchain Network: a new-generation blockchain, with focus on user identification and transparency.

"The Concordium Foundation has granted the Concordium Blockchain Research Centre DKK 50 million (EUR 6.7 million) over the next five years to fund non-targeted research into the technology. Our hope is that, in the long term, the research can help both the private sector and the public authorities to use blockchain technology securely and effectively for different types of transactions," says Lars Seier Christensen, chairman of the Concordium Foundation.

The foundation is supporting the centre with just over DKK 10 million (EUR 1.3 million) a year over the first five years of the centre's lifetime. Among other things, this will fund four PhD students and four postdocs.

"The new centre will be a strong part of Aarhus University's comprehensive digitalisation initiatives and, together with the Centre for Digitalisation, Big Data and Data Analytics (DIGIT), which we established in 2017, it will give Danish IT research and education an important boost," says the dean at Science and Technology, Niels Christian Nielsen.

For further information, please contact:

Professor Jesper Buus Nielsen, Department of Computer Science
Tel: 20586210
E-mail: jbn@cs.au.dk