NFTs have provided an unlikely revenue source for institutions of higher learning. Several universities in the US have successfully raised tens of thousands of dollars by auctioning NFTs, and this trend is only going up.
In June last year, the University of California, Berkeley, auctioned an NFT based on the work of immunologist James Allison.
This Nobel Prize–winning research that helped establish immunotherapy as a fourth pillar of cancer treatment, netted the university $50,000, according to insidehighered.com.
Based on that success, Berkeley announced that they would auction a second NFT based on Jennifer Doudna’s Nobel Prize–winning CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing invention. They reportedly encountered legal challenges in creating that one, and had to put those plans on hold.
That, however, was not the end of their NFT ambitions.
“We have another NFT teed up that involves a breakthrough that bears directly on blockchain technology, which should appeal especially to this collector audience,” Said Richard Lyons, chief innovation and entrepreneurship officer at the university. “We are also pursuing a possible line of NFTs around UC Berkeley’s creative works.”
The University of Miami is another institution that has embraced NFTs. Unlike Berkeley that used an existing marketplace (Foundation), the University of Miami created their own marketplace, Canesvault.
It was named for the Hurricanes football team, and was set up to auction an NFT of the team’s 1989 championship ring. That sold for $10,000.
They have since included other items, ranging from $50 to $5000.
We’ll certainly be seeing more universities adopt NFTs as a fundraising tool.