AIDF set to groom fintech leadership in Singapore

Singapore's AIDF will offer Master's level programmes and scholarships to develop the fintech sector in the region.

By U2B Staff 

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Singapore is gearing up to ramp up its fintech capabilities through the establishment of a new research centre, known as the Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF).

The institute which I set to start operations by year-end aims to link up research, education, and entrepreneurship and pool expertise across several areas including payments, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence.

The AIDF will offer Master’s level programmes to students looking to pursue research at the doctoral level in the areas surrounding fintech and fintech leadership.  The institute will also provide training to post-doctoral fellows in digital finance and fintech.

These offerings aim to develop the capabilities needed to support digital financial services across Asia as well as gather expertise in finance, technology, and other disciplines essential to the integration of technology and financial services.

The areas of focus will expand capabilities in other related areas including advisory and wealth management, retail and corporate banking, digital architecture, big data, tokenisation, AI and machine learning, and UX design.


“AIDF will pursue foundational and inter-disciplinary research projects covering fundamental digital infrastructure, performance optimisation of business processes, and advanced application development research on cyber, fraud, and anti-money laundering challenges,”

It also said, “The institute will also develop financial services to meet sustainability and resiliency needs.”

The institute will create a pathway to develop research focus areas such as digital assets and ledger technology, green finance technology, and next-generation financial services on 5G networks.

AIDF also aims to develop fintech leadership and entrepreneurship in this sector that will be achieved through the establishment of a “fincubator” programme.

This programme will facilitate the development of ideas and projects as well as offer support for students and entrepreneurs with “market-ready” products and services.

These products and services will focus on gearing up towards the commercialisation of financial technology.

These include applied research for commercialisation, incubation of financial applications to address unaddressed needs in digital finance, and boosting connections with the investor community to fuel research commercialisation.

The new institute will be established through a partnership between industry regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), National Research Foundation (NRF), and National University of Singapore (NUS).

The institute will be located on the campus grounds of NUS and will be under the purview of the Prime Minister’s Office.

AIDF will be headed by the NUS Business School’s Jardine Cycle & Carriage Professor of Finance, Duan Jin-Chuan.

Additionally, the programme will be supported by a steering committee that will offer guidance on curriculum and help align the institute’s research direction with market priorities within the country and the surrounding region.

Chief Executive Officer of the NRF, Low Teck Seng said that the AIFR will develop fintech research capabilities in Singapore. This effort can help commercialise “high-impact research ideas” to deliver practical products and services for the market.

“It will leverage NUS’ regional and global networks involving local and foreign universities and research institutes to generate and testbed fintech solutions for the Asian markets,”

Low added, “More importantly, AIDF will also groom next-generation fintech leaders that will strengthen Singapore’s smart nation core.”