Scottish fintech cluster drives ahead thanks to major funding boost

Scotland’s fintech cluster has been given a major funding boost as it looks to develop the next generation of financial technology products for businesses and consumers.

Scotland’s fintech cluster has been given a major funding boost as it looks to develop the next generation of financial technology products. Picture: AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez

Innovation funding amounting to £22.5 million has been secured for the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCoE) to be established in Edinburgh and the central 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.

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

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.”

The University of Edinburgh’s senior vice-principal, Jonathan Seckl, said: “The award from the Strength in Places Fund will allow us to make a unique contribution to the economic recovery from Covid-19.

“The centre will be a world-first, providing leadership, coordination, research and capability to develop the benefits of Open Finance.”

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.”

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.”

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