MAS and MIT Media Lab to collaborate in FinTech R & D

Featured image via Singapore FinTech Festival’s Twitter page.

At the opening of the Singapore FinTech Festival 2017 today, Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that MAS will join the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts to collaborate on FinTech Research & Development. This collaboration will also help to strengthen Singapore’s talent pool in the FinTech industry, by providing Singapore-based industry professionals and researchers with opportunities to work alongside MIT researchers. Financial institutions and FinTech players will be able to participate in pilots and experiments in a wide range of financial-services projects. 

The financial industry in Singapore has been actively engaged in experimentation on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and has developed prototypes on interbank payments, securities settlement, insurance claims processing, trade, and trade finance. This collaboration with MIT signals the growing role that cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are beginning to play in the financial industry. It also underscores the value of industry working with academic institutions that can provide unbiased evaluation and feedback and help bring about further innovation. 

Neha Narula, Director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the MIT Media Lab, said, “Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology pose a dramatic change to the existing regulatory landscape; they have the potential to reform the global financial system around peer-to-peer transactions, without traditional financial intermediation. We are excited to work with an organization like the MAS which shares our thinking around the impact of open-source, layered architectures and permissionless systems.” 

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer, MAS, said, “We are pleased to be working with leading experts with a diverse range of expertise from the MIT Media Lab. The intersection of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) and other related technology areas such as quantum computing and new methods of cryptography will help to bring about the next wave of innovation.” 

In addition, MAS is launching a S$27 million Artificial Intelligence & Data Analytics Grant. This is part of the S$225 million Financial Sector Technology & Innovation Scheme launched in June 2015. The new grant will support the adoption and integration of AI and data analytics in financial institutions. 

It will be used to help professionals in the financial sector to up-skill and adapt to the use of these new technologies. 

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