Open finance project hits new milestone

The Scottish bid to establish a Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence has come a step closer with the successful stage-one bid to the Strength in Places Fund, a funding scheme led by UK Research and Innovation.

In October 2018, a consortium was formed by the University of Edinburgh, FinTech Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA), to develop the ambitious bid.

Open Banking, and its evolution into open finance more generally, is the biggest global trend in financial services, for people and businesses.

A centre of excellence would be a world first, providing leadership, coordination, research and capability to support this rapidly developing field.

Jarmo Eskelinen, Director of the Data-Driven Innovation initiative at the University of Edinburgh said: “The University of Edinburgh is delighted to support the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence and to be developing this exciting project in partnership with FinTech Scotland, FData Global, Industry and Academia across the central belt of Scotland. The success of the Strength In Places Fund bid is confirmation of the importance of innovation for industrial strategy in the UK and we look forward to engaging with the consortium to develop the GOFCOE in the coming months. As a partner in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, this project exemplifies all we are aiming to achieve through our Data-Driven Innovation initiative; attracting talent and investment to the region; linking world-class researchers and data analytics expertise with industry and innovating to drive new products and services.”

Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “Our clear vision is to ensure we benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Significant support through the Strength in Places Fund will further catalyse economic potential across the country by bringing researchers, industry and regional leadership together to drive sustained growth through world-class research and innovation.”

The GOFCOE is one of 24 projects, from pharmaceuticals to aerospace, and transport to the creative economy, that have received early-stage funding to develop full bids. Ultimately, eight of the strongest bids will receive additional funding to carry out projects to drive substantial economic growth.

Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive at FinTech Scotland said: “The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence builds on Scotland’s heritage of financial services and enviable entrepreneurial track record combined with an enlightened and progressive culture which aligns the social and economic benefits of innovation. Going forward the Centre of Excellence focused on data driven innovation will support the inclusive growth objectives of Scotland, leveraging the ongoing role of international collaboration across Europe and globally with the private sector, consumer groups, academia, regulators, governments.”

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