Singapore offers $20m grant for banks' AI and data projects

Singapore offers $20m grant for banks' AI and data projects

Singapore has stepped up its fintech ambitions with the offer of a S$27m ($19.91m) grant to promote the further use of artificial intelligence and data analytics in the financial services market.

The scheme was officially presented by Ravi Menon, managing director of The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) at the Singapore FinTech Festival, a state-sponsored event that purports to be the world's biggest fintech gathering with over 25,000 visitors expected over the course of the week. 

According to the MAS, the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics Grant is reserved for Singapore-based financial institutions and research firms. For banks it can provide as much as a 50%  reimbursement projects which "leverage artificial intelligence and data analytics techniques to generate insights, formulate strategy and assist in their decision making".

These techniques may include machine learning, natural language processing or text analytics, deep learning or neural networks, predictive and prescriptive analytics.

A key consideration however will be the impact of the projects on the bank's workforce and the plans for appropriate training programs.  

For research firms, up to 70% reimbursement is on offer for those that can demonstrate "local knowledge transfer and industry sharing" and a "clear application to financial services," stated the MAS.

The launch of the grant scheme comes a day after the MAS and Singapore's Association of Banks decided to release the source-codes of three successful blockchain prototypes for interbank payments in order to encourage more banks to experiment with the technology.

The MAS has also signed an agreemet with its Polish counterpart the Polish Financial Supervision Authority (KNF) which lays out a fintech framework for co-operation and referrals between the two regulators as it continues to use the FinTech Festival to publicise a stream of initiatives. 

With the event due to run until Saturday 18th, more announcements could be imminent. 

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