QUEZON CITY, Metro Manila — Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) partners with healthtech startup MediXserve to launch AMBERLab on Monday, the first university-based blockchain education and research laboratory in the country.

The Ateneo-MedixServe Blockchain Education and Research Laboratory (AMBERLab) will serve as a think tank and research center for developing countries under private sector-led efforts.

“Our motivation in establishing this research laboratory is that blockchain supports our vision in maximizing ICT for nation-building. Most of the current services do not reach the underserved. And if it does, the cost is too high for an ordinary Filipino to receive its full benefits. To transform ICT solutions into blockchain technology, we eliminate layers of transactions, which mean lower cost of service delivery. This means that we are able to do more and serve more,” said Dr. Regina Estuar, head of AMBERLab.

AMBERLab plans to develop training programs, curricula, and create a dynamic environment where individuals from different industries can come together in a collective effort to develop the technology. It aims to build a community which includes the academe, the government, the NGO and the private sector.

According to Jason dela Rosa, co-founder of Medixserve, the facility will also serve as an incubation center, where blockchain-based startups with innovative ideas can get assistance in funding, developing and launching of their products globally.

ADMU students can take elective units on blockchain technology starting 2019, with the possibility of it becoming into a full course in the future. Meanwhile, non-ADMU students can already take part in the training and seminars that AMBERLab offers.

CEO and founder of MediXserve, Jojy Azurin, stressed the importance of collaboration from different sectors to develop the technology for the benefit of the country.

‘It takes a village’ to make meaningful R&D results. There’s more to the blockchain industry than ICOs (initial coin offering) or checking the price of bitcoin. Innovation and research care little for speculation,” added Jojy.

MediXServe is a blockchain-powered healthcare platform that stores a patient’s medical records in a permanent and verifiable manner and allows interoperability for all participating elements of the healthcare ecosystem. Its partnership with AMBERLab will allow the healthtech startup to advance its research on the delivery of affordable healthcare services by leveraging the technology.

AMBERLab has also partnered with NEM Philippines, a global peer-to-peer cryptocurrency and blockchain platform, to develop curricula and electives for blockchain. NEM Philippines has been making waves in the local blockchain space recently by partnering with the academe sector in a country-wide effort to educate the youth and promote the development of blockchain.

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