By Rafi Koteh
The Ateneo-MediXserve Blockchain Education and Research Laboratory or AMBERLab was launched on Monday, October 22, as the country?s first university-based blockchain and education research laboratory.
A product of the collaboration between Ateneo de Manila University and health technology startup MediXserve, AMBERLab was founded earlier this year in August and is based in Ateneo?s PLDT Convergent Technology Center. It aims to leverage blockchain technology?s untapped potential for the benefit of the public and the private sectors.
?There is more to blockchain technology than ICO or checking the price of Bitcoin,? said MediXserve founder Jojy Azurin. ?It takes a village, it takes a community and it needs the community of businesses, academe, and NGOs to use blockchain as a springboard for our country?s growth.?
AMBERlab will be focusing the areas of education, research and innovation, startups, and community building as its main initiatives.
Among its programs in education, AMBERLab will be providing a blockchain curriculum for ADMU students in partnership with the non-profit organization dedicated to the development and promotion of blockchain technology, the NEM Foundation. The NEM Foundation crafted the module for ADMU and has been working with the university as they train the faculty and review the course?s content and training materials. This course of study is targeted to be available as an elective for the students by January 2019.
Other than the elective course, AMBERLab will be also be holding public seminars and ?kapihan? events about blockchain technology.
?The blockchain job growth is the highest, especially in Asia. The blockchain jobs are very much in-demand and AMBERLab wants to be a serious avenue for learning,? Azurin emphasized.
AMBERLab will also serve as a think tank and advanced research center for proposals on the use of the technology for social good, specifically for the development of reusable blockchain-enabled services for the public.
These technologies can encompass the fields of health and wellness, financial inclusion, agriculture, and government.
Dr. Regina Estuar, head of AMBERLab, explained during the event that ?the IT that we are developing in this university is a different landscape because we want to develop IT practitioners who code with a heart, which means that they know who they?re writing for and therefore we service nation building.?
This facility will even serve as an incubation center for blockchain-based startups in the Philippines by providing these businesses with co-working spaces, access to technology mentors, and access to marketing and business services provided by CUBE Technology Management Office.
Lastly, AMBERLab will build a community concentrated on the use of blockchain technology by fostering a dynamic environment where faculty members, researchers and industry experts can share their knowledge.
?AMBERLab aims to establish that collaborative environment similar to the principle of blockchain that it is decentralized. We aim to develop a decentralized student-centered Laboratory that will work toward collective social good and humanitarian good,? said Estuar.