Call for Applications: Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency 2021 Summer Design Challenge

Funding Opportunity for Faculty and Research Staff

April 08, 2021

Design Challenge Goal & Topics

The Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency aims to support research, educational, and entrepreneurial activities broadly in the area of data sharing, fair use of data, blockchains or related technologies.

The Center’s Mission is to bring together cross-disciplinary teams to advance innovation in blockchain & data transparency and closely associated topics for the good of society and industries that will drive new science and technology, develop thought leadership, and influence policy.

This call invites faculty and research staff to submit proposals for a Design Challenge to be held Summer 2021 (June-July).

The goal of Design Challenges is to produce a viable design-concept (i.e. a rough prototype, if possible) towards the development of an technology-driven solution that tackles a present day problem.

Columbia-IBM Center Design Challenge proposals can be centered around exploring innovations in relevant technology areas such as blockchains, security, cryptography, network science, machine learning, AI/ML, and also business, legal and regulatory problems related to data transparency, data ownership, valuation, and its use in specific industries and applications.

For examples of previous Design Challenges please see:

Funding and Obligations

Funding is available for 1 Design Challenge up to $25,000. Funding can support faculty time/effort, course assistants, and any additional materials needed to execute the challenge. We have set aside separate funds for a student prize. We welcome joint faculty proposals.

Proposal Process

The deadline for submission is April 30, 2021 by 5:00 pm. Please submit the following materials via email, in .doc or .pdf format, to: [email protected].

Review Criteria

All projects must be relevant to the mission of the Columbia-IBM Center for Blockchain and Data Transparency. The template for proposals is below. Proposals will be ranked based on their alignment with the mission of the Columbia-IBM Center and the comprehensiveness of their application.

Project Proposal Template:


Faculty Lead(s):

Overview: Please give an overview of the topic area

Objective(s): What is the overall technical/scientific/policy problem this Design Challenge is aimed at solving?

Project Goal: What is the goal of the student’s final presentations?

Problem Definition & Specifications: What are the guidelines within which students must create solutions?

Assessment: How will student presentations be evaluated?