Scotland’s FinTech Cluster to receive £22.5m funding

The growing international role of Scotland’s fintech cluster was given a further significant boost today with the announcement of £22.5 million innovation funding for the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) to be established in Edinburgh and the Central region.

Stephen Ingledew, chief executive of FinTech Scotland

The news was confirmed by UK Research and Innovation, the government research funding agency, as one of seven proposals being funded by the Strength in Places Fund aimed at supporting innovation and economic growth.

GOFCoE will provide a trusted environment for participants from around the world to research and develop innovative solutions aimed at delivering social and economic benefits through open banking and financial data.

For example, the initiative will present opportunities to conduct research into public earning, spending and saving to allow innovative enterprises to create citizen focussed financial services as well as enable policy makers to understand the economic and social impact of policies and regulations before implementing them.

The ground-breaking concept and the development of the initiative over the last two years has been led by the University of Edinburgh, FinTech Scotland, the Financial Data and Technology Association (FDATA) and Scottish Enterprise with the support of a broad range of organisations.

The announcement will further bolster the global recognition of Scotland’s fintech cluster, following on from the formal European cluster excellence accreditation earlier this year, by providing the opportunity for greater research and development in financial innovation to support sustainable economic development.

The funding is part of a £186m project to boost Research & Development and local economic growth across the UK. Projects across central Scotland, Northern Ireland, South Wales, and three areas of England will receive the funding from the UK Research and Innovation’s flagship Strength in Places Fund (SIPF).

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.

“With engagement across Scotland, UK and globally, the initiative will further reinforce the inclusive international approach in developing the fintech cluster which is focused on delivering better consumer financial outcomes and sustainable economic growth through innovation.

“I would like to pay tribute to my colleagues Kevin Collins and Damien McGarrigle of University of Edinburgh, Gavin Littlejohn of FDATA, Nicola Anderson of FinTech Scotland along with the rest of the GOFCoE project team for their terrific leadership over the last couple of years in securing this funding opportunity.”

Ivan McKee, minister for trade, investment and innovation, added: “I have had the pleasure of working with all of the proposals from Scotland in this competition. Each one demonstrates our appetite for innovation and desire to translate this into benefits for people and places across Scotland.
“I am delighted that the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence is one of the two projects from Scotland that have received funding from this highly competitive fund. This project will unlock the benefits of open banking and will enhance Scotland’s position as a top destination for fintech.”
Philip Grant, chair of Scottish Financial Enterprise, said: “This is great news for the continued development of the fintech cluster in Scotland and a credit to all the partners involved. The collaboration so evident in this initiative is now recognised as the driver of the continued growth and success of financial services as an important part of the Scottish economy. SFE and our members will continue to support the important work of FinTech Scotland and its ambition to be one of the top five fintech clusters in the world.”

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