Wednesday, 04 August 2021

MAS commits $182 million to accelerate innovation, technology adoption in financial sector

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it will commit $ 182 million (SGD 250 million) over the next three years under the enhanced Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 2.0) to accelerate technology and innovation-driven growth in the financial sector.

FSTI 2.0 also aims to strengthen support for large-scale innovation projects, and build a stronger pipeline of Singaporean talents in FinTech.

The launch of FSTI 2.0 was announced by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, at the “Singapore FinTech Festival: Green Shoots Series”.FSTI 2.0 will introduce several enhancements to support innovation in the financial sector.

Enhancing support for early stage experimentation of technology

MAS will double the maximum funding quantum, from $146,000 (SGD 200,000) to $292,000 (SGD 400,000), under the Proof-of-Concept (POC) Grant, and will increase the maximum funding support from 50% to 70% of qualifying project cost. The higher funding support will enable financial institutions and FinTech firms to undertake larger-scale POC projects to experiment, develop and deploy innovative solutions, empowered by emerging technologies.

A merit-based tiered funding mechanism will be introduced to replace the existing flat 50% funding support of qualifying project cost. A higher level of funding will be allocated to POC projects which demonstrate stronger merits. The level of funding support and quantum cap for each applicant will vary according to the total number of favourable votes awarded by an evaluation panel.

Strengthening the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the financial industry

MAS will raise the maximum funding quantum for all qualifying AI projects under the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Grant from $730,000 (SGD 1 million) to $1.09 million (SGD 1.5 million), to provide greater impetus for financial institutions to implement ground-breaking and innovative AI solutions.

In addition, MAS will introduce a new AIDA-Lite track, providing half the funding quantum of the AIDA track. With AIDA-Lite, financial institutions will be able to obtain funding support to adopt proven AI solutions to enhance their operations.

Building a stronger talent pipeline of Singaporeans for FinTech

MAS will co-fund existing innovation labs for new Singaporean hires to encourage the expansion of existing labs and groom Singaporean talent.

Furthermore, all new projects under the Financial Institution-Level Projects, Industry-Wide Projects and AIDA Tracks will now qualify for funding support for capability transfer-related training costs. Such training costs include expenses incurred to engage specialists to train the local talent pool, and expenses incurred to send local employees for overseas trainings. These training programmes will help to support workforce transformation in the financial sector and to accelerate skills and knowledge transfer to Singaporean talents.

Funded by the Financial Sector Development Fund, FSTI 2.0 aims to invigorate the culture of innovation in Singapore, catalyse the implementation of innovative solutions, and deepen the cybersecurity capabilities in the financial sector. Please refer to the Annex for more details about FSTI.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker