Financial Technology

New network bids to ‘supercharge’ UK fintech

A new collaboration has been launched to help drive UK research and development in financial technology (fintech).

The UK FinTech Academic Network (UKFAN) has been co-founded by Innovate Finance, the non-profit body representing the industry, and a group of academics from UK universities working in fields including finance, economics, information systems, strategy, mathematics, entrepreneurship, computer science, and humanities.

Chaired by Alliance Manchester Business School, the nascent network has set itself three main objectives. Namely, to:

 – Establish a multidisciplinary and self-sustaining inclusive fintech research community in the UK

 – Bridge existing gaps between the academic, industry, and regulatory communities and help unlock new partnerships and investment in research and innovation

 – Develop cohesive research roadmaps and future research agendas to tackle challenges in UK financial services and the fintech space to inform policy and practice

“The UK is the second largest fintech destination globally, and the industry is a critical economic driver for the economy,” said Prof Markos Zachariadis, professor of information systems at the Alliance Manchester Business School.

“Now is the time to combine the efforts of our world-leading UK academic institutions and supercharge the growth of the UK fintech sector by developing the next generation of transformative technologies,  and we believe that UKFAN can help facilitate that.”

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Initial areas of focus for the new network are slated to include artificial intelligence, open banking, payments, blockchain, regulation, and green finance.

An annual conference, meanwhile, is to position itself as “the UK’s flagship academic event on fintech research”.

Innovate Finance will act as the secretariat of the new venture.

“We recognise the key role academia can play in accelerating the development and growth of innovation across financial services,” said Innovate Finance CEO, Janine Hirt.

“That is why we are proud to be working with Alliance Manchester Business School to launch the UK FinTech Academic Network, ensuring there is a coordinated effort that connects our world-leading, outstanding UK university sector with our world-leading, outstanding UK fintech sector.”

The list of universities and research institutions offering academic support as UKFAN launches includes:

University of Manchester

University of Cambridge

University College London

University of Edinburgh

Alan Turing Institute

University of Oxford

Imperial College London

University of Warwick

Loughborough University

London School of Economics

Queen Mary University of London

Gresham College

City, University of London

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