MAS earmarks $112m for innovation in finance

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has committed to providing up to $112 million (S$150 million) over a span of three years to bolster technology and innovation within the nation’s financial sector.

This announcement accompanies the renewal of the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 3.0), aimed at accelerating and fortifying innovation by supporting initiatives involving the utilisation of advanced technologies.

Under the renewed scheme, FSTI 3.0 encompasses three fresh tracks, one of which involves expanding the range of grant funding to encompass corporate venture capital (CVC) entities. These entities are known for their ability to identify and nurture the next generation of start-ups, with each project capped at S$2 million.

Moreover, FSTI 3.0 will support innovative fintech solutions stemming from emerging technologies like Web 3.0. MAS intends to initiate open calls for the application of such technologies in practical industry scenarios and will provide grant funding to facilitate experimentation and commercialisation.

The scheme will also promote the adoption of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) fintech solutions. Funding support of up to 50% of qualifying expenses, with a cap of S$500,000 per project, will be provided.

Furthermore, MAS underscores that FSTI 3.0 will persist in supporting the advancement of “key areas” such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics, and regulatory technology (regtech), with a particular emphasis on assisting smaller financial entities.

Ravi Menon, the managing director of MAS, indicates that the government has allocated a total of $340 million through the FSTI program since its inception in 2015.

FSTI 1.0 and 2.0 significantly enhanced the digital capabilities of financial institutions, which proved beneficial during the COVID pandemic for both these institutions and their customers, Menon states.

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