Sony Global Education is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation and Sony Computer Science
Labs, Inc. Founded in 2015, its mission is “to provide a range of unifying, non-traditional
services that inspire a passion for learning across the world and that offer the opportunity
to act on this passion, and to create a new educational infrastructure for a connected
society.” In order to make this a reality, Sony Global Education will continue to roll out
new educational experiences that stimulate learners’ curiosity and will continue to
actively pursue partnerships with others who share its passion for education. To learn
more, visit: https://www.sonyged.com/

Sony Global Education provides new educational experiences that stimulate learners’
curiosity. It has identified the need in Japan to create a more comprehensive, open, and
trusted system for recording the education and training credentials of Japanese citizens.
In doing so, it has also identified that this need exists across the globe.
Just think of the credentials one must have to enroll in higher education or apply to a
skilled occupation. These credentials sit in silos and each require a different process for
validation. Sony Global Education has a vision that will bring this siloed data into one
system that accurately records how individuals perform in academic and training settings
and then controls access to this recorded information. This will give businesses and
educational institutions a more complete picture of candidates’ backgrounds and help
them pick the most qualified individual for each job opportunity and program admission.

In phase one, Sony and a selected technology partner researched permissioned blockchains
that could support a consortium of collaborators. They identified the need to use smart
contracts for managing data access, data partitioning to keep some information hidden
from some collaborators while exposing it to others, and an open source platform to avoid
vendor lock in. This phase concluded with a decision to use Hyperledger Fabric, which is a
blockchain framework and one of the Hyperledger projects hosted by The Linux Foundation.
The evaluation team selected Hyperledger Fabric because it is a general-purpose business
platform and open source project that can support smart contracts via chaincode and
data partitioning via channels. The team had considered other platforms, but eliminated
them from the running over concerns about security aspects like data access control as
well as concerns about being ready to withstand actual operation. Hyperledger Fabric was
also selected because it allows for more flexible data models and business logic compared
to other blockchain solutions. When Hyperledger Fabric v1.0 was released, the team was
confident that it could meet all of the team’s requirements.
Hyperledger Fabric also had strong support from executives including Mr. Masaaki Isozu,
President and CEO of Sony Global Education. Mr. Isozu says, “We were considering
various different blockchains, but then in looking into Hyperledger Fabric, we found that
it could support our plan to work with a consortium of collaborators as well as provide a
very highly stable blockchain.”
In phase two, Sony Global Education created a prototype of the credentials platform using
Hyperledger Fabric hosted on a secure cloud within a short period of time. A proven
agile methodology was used to flexibly incorporate the requirements and implement a
variety of use cases. This prototype, diagrammed in figure 1 below, helped the evaluation
team determine that the technology did indeed provide all the functionality necessary for
building a next-generation credentials platform.

Now in phase three, Sony Global Education plans to put the credentials platform to
the test by using it to manage educational data generated by 250,000 participants in
a world wide math competition called Global Math Challenge, which is held online and
hosted by Sony Global Education. This competition, now in its 4th year, is the world’s
first widely accessible, global-scale mathematics contest. The data it generates includes
transcripts, global rankings, and test analysis that gives participants unique insights into
their thinking process and actionable advice on how to improve. The authenticity of the
transcript from this challenge will be checked on the credentials platform. (Source http://www.hyperledger.org)

Sony Global Education, KOOV Challenge

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