MAS pledges S$250m to drive fintech innovation and adoption

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has committed S$250 million to a scheme to accelerate technology and innovation in the financial sector over the next three years.

The enhanced Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 2.0) aims to strengthen support for large-scale innovation projects and build a stronger pipeline of Singaporean talents in fintech.

FSTI was introduced in 2017 to provide support for the creation of a vibrant ecosystem for innovation.

Maximum funding doubled

Announced by Ravi Menon, Managing Director of MAS at Singapore FinTech Festival: Green Shoots Series, FSTI 2.0 comes with several enhancements, including the doubling of The Proof-of-Concept (POC) Grant’s maximum funding quantum to S$400,000. Maximum funding support is now 70 percent of qualifying project cost.

A merit-based tiered funding mechanism replaces the existing flat 50 percent funding support of qualifying project cost. A higher level of funding will be allocated to POC projects which demonstrate stronger merits.

The maximum funding quantum for all qualifying AI projects under the Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics (AIDA) Grant has been raised to S$1.5 million .

A new AIDA-Lite track provides half the funding quantum of the AIDA track. This lets financial institutions obtain funding support to adopt proven AI solutions to enhance their operations.

Grooming Singaporean talents

MAS will co-fund existing innovation labs for new Singaporean hires to encourage the expansion of existing labs and groom Singaporean talents.

All new projects under the Financial Institution-Level Projects, Industry-Wide Projects and AIDA Tracks will now qualify for funding support for capability transfer-related training costs. Such costs include expenses incurred to engage specialists to train the local talent pool, and expenses incurred to send local employees for overseas trainings.