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EY opens fintech lab in Scotland

Source: EY

EY has today announced the launch of its first Scottish FinTech lab, based in Edinburgh.

The lab, which follows EY’s first successful lab in London, is designed to collaborate with start-ups and scale-ups to create innovative solutions to key financial challenges across the UK region, with a particular focus on sustainable finance.

The first cohort of start-ups in the new FinTech lab explored the connection between space science data and finance. Following a successful introductory summit in 2023, FinTech Scotland, EY, and Space Scotland, supported by the UK Space Agency, led a programme of activity that aimed to deepen the understanding between the financial services and the space industry.

The programme called for proposals of new projects that could provide data to support financial firms’ development of products, in particular to help manage climate change. The winning submission came from Environment Systems and Earth Blox, focusing on commodities use.

Earth Blox, a no-code spatial data SaaS, and Environment Systems, an environmental and agricultural data consultancy, joined forces to demonstrate how the financial services sector can use spatial data to maximise the value of their portfolios from nature-based insights.

The project combined local and global spatial data to identify nature and climate risks for agricultural commodities such as asparagus, potatoes and soy. It demonstrated how businesses can gain insights into crops in individual fields and scale them to understand potential impacts on yields at a local, national and global level.

The solution identifies areas that are unsustainable for growth and optimum locations for future production while ensuring compliance with environmental regulations such as the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

Located in EY’s Edinburgh office, the new lab is a dynamic workspace designed for collaboration, experimentation, and rapid test-and-learn prototyping. FinTechs, potential investors, clients, established financial services firms, regulators and other partners based in Edinburgh and across the UK will be able to connect to share information, brainstorm ideas and develop real-world solutions to serve markets and customers more effectively.

Sue Dawe, EY Scotland Financial Services Managing Partner, comments: “We’re seeing some very exciting start-up and scale-up activity across the UK, and Scotland’s FinTech sector is going from strength to strength.

“The new FinTech lab in Edinburgh will tap into the growing appetite for innovation across Scotland’s financial services sector and will develop the talent we already have in our market. With ‘FinTech for good’ being high on the radar, our new lab’s focus on sustainable finance will help firms respond to a key industry and social challenge. The launch of the lab in Edinburgh demonstrates our commitment to the growth of FinTech, and as a strategic partner to FinTech Scotland, we will continue to collaborate to help Scotland become one of the world’s leading FinTech clusters.”

Nicola Anderson, FinTech Scotland CEO said: “Scotland’s FinTech growth embodies the power of collaboration across sectors, igniting innovation that not only fuels new enterprises but also drives positive change for our economy and society. We are delighted to welcome the Edinburgh EY innovation lab into the cluster, the lab’s areas of focus, including financial inclusion and sustainability, align strategically with the priorities of the FinTech Scotland Cluster. Together and collaboratively we are poised to drive meaningful change, leveraging technology to create a more inclusive and sustainable financial ecosystem.”

Dr Hina Khan, Executive Director, Space Scotland comments: “Through strategic collaboration with FinTech Scotland and EY we are delighted to bring the potential of geospatial data into Scotland’s financial services industry. By leveraging innovative data and technologies across industries we expand the overall potential for Scottish businesses. Space Scotland has been working with FinTech Scotland through the UKSA Cluster Development programme to increase the use of EO data into the financial services industry. The launch of the EY lab in Edinburgh with the first cohort of EO data companies developing solutions for the fintech sector is a great outcome from the joint Accelerator programme.”

In December 2022, EY launched its first UK FinTech lab. Since its launch, the London FinTech lab has run five innovation sprints, connecting FinTechs and established financial services firms.

Chris Woolard, EY’s UK Head of FinTech, comments: “FinTech plays a fundamental innovation role for the UK market and is a key driver of competitiveness on the international stage. We set ourselves a clear and ambitious growth plan for EY’s FinTech business in the UK, and the launch of the new lab in Edinburgh marks a significant next step forward. This is the second FinTech lab we’ve launched in the UK, and we look forward to expanding our UK FinTech growth this year.”

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