Stanford University, one of the world’s leaders in computer science, has announced the foundation of the Center for Blockchain Research… with a little help from Vitalik Buterin.

The Center’s aim is to research and deepen understanding in a technology which “promises to fundamentally change how people and companies make deals and complete financial transactions over the internet.” Its five year research program has been made possible by donations from various blockchain companies and institutions, including the Ethereum Foundation, Protocol Labs, the Interchain Foundation, and OmiseGO.

Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin said that he “excited” to be supporting the initiative.

The center will be led by computer scientists Dan Boneh and David Mazières. According to Boneh, “blockchains will become increasingly critical to doing business globally” and that his university should be “at the forefront of efforts to improve, apply and understand the many ripple effects of this technology.

Mazières explained that one of the great benefits of blockchain is the increased ease of trading digital assets. “It allows individuals who don’t know each other, or even trust one another,” he said, “to make irreversible transactions in a whole variety of fields in a safe and secure way.”

Boneh and Mazières will be training the next generation of blockchain innovators with the creation of new courses in the technology for both students and industry professionals. They will also bring together computer scientists and business leaders to “develop best practices” for this new sector.

Buterin and OmiseGo had previously collaborated on charitable donations. In March they joined forces to donate $1 million in ONG tokens to stateless refugees. The funds were administered by Give Directly, and aimed to empower people who had fled one country to find themselves in another with “their skills intact but with no capital to start rebuilding their lives”.