Government funding

Fintech cluster to develop next generation services

Stephen Ingledew,Fintech Scotland

Stephen Ingledew: reinforcing the cluster (pic: Terry Murden)

Scotland is to spearhead next generation technology that will improve consumer access to financial services such as credit, property ownership and saving.

A £55 million package of support will fund research by a consortium led by Edinburgh University and is seen as a huge vote of confidence in Scotland’s growing fintech cluster.

FinTech Scotland, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) and Scottish Enterprise are also part of the programme which includes a £22.5 million innovation funding for the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE).

The Edinburgh programme is one of seven innovation projects across the UK which will share £400 million of public and private sector support as part of the UK Government’s target to invest 2.4% of GDP in research and development.

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Businesses and universities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool and Kent will benefit, ensuring projects such as zero-emissions tech for maritime vessels, smart-packaging to cut food waste, and new health products to combat infections get the investment they need to take-off.

Each programme aims to deliver long-term economic benefits across the UK, creating thousands of jobs, new skills, and encouraging more competitive as economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest investment is part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund, which aims to support promising research and innovation projects that will drive local economic growth.

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, said: “The news reinforces the value of cluster collaboration between the diverse range of entrepreneurial enterprises, academics, large institutions, government and citizen groups in embracing the role of data in driving financial innovation to benefit all.”

The University of Edinburgh’s Senior Vice-Principal, Professor Jonathan Seckl, added: “Never has there been a time of greater need for data-driven insights into the UK economy. The award from the Strength in Places Fund will allow us to make a unique contribution to the economic recovery from Covid-19.”

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