The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) declared today its plan to allocate up to S$150 million over a three-year period for its newly launched Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 3.0). The program, an embodiment of MAS’ dedication to fostering a dynamic tech-based environment in the financial sector, aims to expedite and fortify the innovation process by funding projects harnessing advanced technologies or with regional ties.
The newly revamped FSTI 3.0 introduces fresh funding tracks:
The Augmented Centre of Excellence track, formerly referred to as the Innovation Labs track, broadens the reach of grant funding to encompass corporate venture capital (CVC) organizations. The funding, which supports up to 50% of eligible expenses and is limited to S$2 million per project, underscores the pivotal role CVCs play in scouting and cultivating future start-ups. The funds will empower CVCs to provide robust mentorship and resources to aid start-ups in scaling up and crafting sustainable business models.
The Innovation Acceleration track highlights MAS’ recognition of the significance of industry collaborations in fostering groundbreaking FinTech solutions that emanate from novel technologies like Web 3.0. MAS will carry out open calls for the deployment of innovative technologies in industry use cases, with grant funding to underpin the phases of actual trials and commercialization.
The Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) FinTech track, designed to encourage the adoption of ESG fintech solutions, will support the conception and application of projects addressing ESG data, reporting, and analytics requirements of the financial sector. This track provides funding support of up to 50% of qualifying costs, with a maximum of S$500,000 per project.
Moreover, FSTI 3.0 will persist in backing the development and adoption of sophisticated capabilities in areas like Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA), and Regulation Technology (RegTech). In particular, MAS will concentrate on advocating AIDA adoption within smaller financial firms and catering to less digitally mature firms eager to procure RegTech solutions. All applicants across tracks are mandated to allocate resources for talent development, reinforcing the Singaporean FinTech talent pool.
Mr. Ravi Menon, Managing Director at MAS, stated, “The Financial Sector Development Fund (FSDF) has since 2015 granted $340 million as part of the FSTI programme to facilitate the uptake of technology and innovation in the financial sphere. Among the transformative tech projects MAS has spearheaded with the industry, we have SGFinDex, Purpose Bound Money from Project Orchid, Responsible AI from Project Veritas, and the green and sustainable finance initiative Project Green print, as well as sizeable payment projects like the cross-border payment link with Thailand. The previous iterations, FSTI 1.0 and 2.0, have substantially bolstered the digital competencies of financial institutions, offering resilience during the COVID pandemic. With FSTI 3.0, we are keen to continue synergistic work with the industry to further meaningful financial innovation.”