MAS pledges up to $112m towards tech and innovation in financial sector
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has pledged up to $112 million (S$150 million) over three years to support technology and innovation in the country’s financial sector.
The news comes as part of a renewal of the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 3.0), which seeks to accelerate and strengthen innovation by supporting projects that involve use of “cutting-edge” technologies.
As part of the renewal of the scheme, FSTI 3.0 involves three new tracks, including expanding the scope of the grant funding to include corporate venture capital (CVC) entities due to their nature of identifying and supporting the next generation of start-ups, capped at S$2 million per project.
FSTI 3.0 will also involve supporting innovative fintech solutions that emerge from new technologies such as Web 3.0, with MAS planning to conduct open calls for the use of such technologies in industry use cases and shelling out grant funding to support trial and commercialisation.
The scheme will also include increasing the adoption of ESG fintech solutions, with funding support of up to 50% of qualifying expenses, capped at S$500,000 per project.
Additionally, MAS states that the FSTI 3.0 will continue supporting the development of “key areas” such as artificial intelligence (AI), data analytics and regtech, with a focus on supporting smaller financial firms.
Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, says the government has handed out $340 million as part of FSTI programme since 2015.
“Notably, FSTI 1.0 and 2.0 helped strengthen the digital capabilities of financial institutions which served them and their customers through the COVID pandemic,” Menon says. “With FSTI 3.0, we look forward to continued collaboration with the industry to advance purposeful financial innovation.”