The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence has been awarded a £22.5m grant from UK Research and Innovation’s Strength in Places Fund.
The Centre is a world-first which – with Edinburgh Innovations’ support – was devised and created by the University of Edinburgh, the Financial Data and Technology Association and FinTech Scotland, with the aim of using financial technology to deliver social and economic benefit to all corners of the globe.
UKRI’s investment will be used initially to create a global economic observatory, using real data to understand for the first time how consumers and businesses earn, spend and save across the world. This will deliver a research and policy offering to governments around the world as they try to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic.
EI funding support
EI’s Douglas Graham, Director of Business Development at the Edinburgh Futures Institute, played a central role in EFI’s successful application for seed funding of £50,000 in September 2019, which enabled the multi-party team to go on to make the full SiPF application. The GOFCoE will be physically located at EFI once its new premises at the Old Royal Infirmary opens in 2022.
“Using real financial data for social good and allowing governments, companies and people to make better economic and financial decisions is at the heart of the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence.
“Never has there been a time of greater need for data-driven insights into the economy. 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 and to safely unlock the potential of customer data as a force to improve lives.
– University of Edinburgh Senior Vice-Principal, Professor Jonathan Seckl.
FinTech Scotland, which was established in 2018 with EI’s support and is hosted by EI, said the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence will support the inclusive approach to delivering better consumer outcomes.
“The funding reinforces the value of 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.”
– Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive, FinTech Scotland.
The funding is one of seven Strength in Places awards announced by UKRI across the UK and across sectors, highlighting Edinburgh’s national leadership in finance innovation.
FDATA Global’s Chairman, Gavin Littlejohn said: “We envisage GOFCoE as a global utility and are creating the governance and funding frameworks to enable that. It will be supported by companies, governments and regulatory authorities, but maintain an important independence, neutrality and grip on ethics, without which it would not be trusted to function.
“It is becoming increasingly clear that the grand open finance challenges GOFCoE will address simply can’t be solved by working alone, and that this capability is sorely needed by governments, companies and citizens if we want better financial outcomes. This funding is a critical building block in a wider funding strategy to enable our ambitious plans of delivering a world-class facility to be realised.”