MAS Commits S$250 Million to Accelerate Innovation and Technology Adoption in Financial Sector
Singapore, 13 August 2020... The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) today announced that it will commit S$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.
2 The launch of FSTI 2.0 was announced by Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, at the “Singapore FinTech Festival: Green Shoots Series”.The Singapore FinTech Festival: Green Shoots Series are virtual meet-ups for the FinTech community to share practical advice on topics from bolstering cash flows to ensuring cyber security in times of increased remote work arrangements. Visit http://fintechfestival.sg/greenshootsseries to view upcoming and past sessions. FSTI 2.0 will introduce several enhancements to support innovation in the financial sector.
Enhancing support for early stage experimentation of technology
3 MAS will double the maximum funding quantum, from S$200,000 to S$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.
4 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.Each qualifying POC application will be assessed by an external panel of practitioners for i) the strength of its concept, ii) the innovative use of technology, iii) the ability to successfully execute the project, iv) and benefits to the industry. MAS will take into account the recommendations and comments from the evaluation panel, and assess if the POC grant would be awarded to the applicant. Based on the number of favourable votes awarded by the evaluation panel, the level of funding support for each applicant will vary between 50% to 70% of the qualifying project cost, while the quantum cap will range from S$200,000 to S$400,000.
Strengthening the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) within the financial industry
5 MAS will raise the maximum funding quantum for all qualifying AI projects under the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) GrantThe AIDA Grant consists of 2 tracks: (i) the Financial Institution Track to promote the adoption and integration of AI and DA technology in financial institutions, and (ii) the Research Track to support Research Institutes in generating applied research in AI and DA for the Singapore financial sector. The AIDA-Research Track will be discontinued to avoid duplication of funding support for academic research projects by other government agencies (e.g. the National Research Fund). from S$1 million to S$1.5 million, to provide greater impetus for financial institutions to implement ground-breaking and innovative AI solutions.
6 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
7 MAS will co-fund existing innovation labs for new Singaporean hires to encourage the expansion of existing labs and groom Singaporean talent.
8 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.
9 Funded by the Financial Sector Development Fund,The Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) is established under the MAS Act to promote Singapore as a financial centre. The FSDF provides funding to support: skills development and upgrading; research and development programmes; and industry projects and infrastructure, for the Singapore financial services sector. 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.
10 Please refer to the MAS website for more information about FSTI 2.0.