Singapore Launches Regional Research Institute for Digital Finance

One of the Asian Institute of Digital Finance’s first projects is to build a data-sharing platform that can train models to improve credit assessments, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat.

Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat has announced the formal launch of the Asian Institute of Digital Finance (AIDF), a new research institute is hosted by NUS (National University of Singapore), and backed by MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) and the NRF (National Research Foundation).

The plan to jointly setting up such an institute before end-2020 was first revealed in August, in order to develop deeper capabilities to support the needs of digital financial services in Asia.

According to Heng, speaking in a keynote address at SFF x SWITCH on Monday (7 December), one of the AIDF’s first projects is to build a data-sharing platform that can train models to improve credit assessments.

“The platform will use data distributed across multiple firms, while preserving data privacy,” he said. “This allows lenders to make better credit decisions and offer better rates. This will improve the financing of small businesses to enable a stronger post-pandemic recovery.”

Heng also said the AIDF will also have a strong role in nurturing global fintech talent for Asia, and will take in its first batch of post-graduate students next year.

AIDF will offer a Master’s programme and award scholarships to outstanding students to pursue research at the doctoral level, as well as train post-doctoral fellows in digital finance and fintech.

AIDF’s steering group will align the institute’s research direction with strategic priorities in Singapore and the region, while also seeking out opportunities for collaboration and partnerships in Asia and beyond.

 

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