MAS’ Menon announces FSTI 2.0, commits $250mn over next 3 years for advancing fintech

Excerpts from speech by Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, at the Singapore FinTech Festival in Singapore, 13 August 2020.

“Of the $225 million committed in 2015 for FSTI (Financial Sector Technology and Innovation), we have utilised half the amount. I am pleased to announce that MAS will roll over the unutilised portion and augment it with additional funds to make a fresh commitment of $250 million for the next 3 years under FSTI 2.0.

“Let me share with you three key enhancements under FSTI 2.0, taking onboard industry feedback.

“First, FSTI 2.0 will encourage the expansion of the existing innovation labs and further develop Singaporean talent in FinTech and innovation. The Innovation Lab Grant under FSTI 2.0 will co-fund 50% of the salaries of incremental Singaporean hires for a period of 2 years.

“Second, FSTI 2.0 will encourage more experimentation and early-stage development of novel solutions in the industry by enhancing the POC Grant. We will double the funding cap of the POC Grant from $200,000 to $400,000. This will support POCs that are larger in scale and more complex in nature. We will also introduce a merit-based tiered funding approach.

“If your proposal manages to secure unanimous votes from the evaluation panel, you will have access to 70% funding support, up to a quantum cap of $400,000. This is enhanced from current FSTI parameters of 50% funding support, up to a quantum cap of $200,000.

“Third, FSTI 2.0 will seek to accelerate large-scale adoption of AI (artificial intelligence) solutions in the financial industry while supporting workers through the transformation brought about by AI. We will increase the maximum funding quantum for the AIDA Grant from S$1 million to S$1.5 million per AI project.

“We will introduce a new AIDA-Lite track to support financial institutions adopting existing AI solutions in the market.
We will require all AIDA applicants to work with the Institute of Banking and Finance (IBF) to actively look out for at-risk workers impacted by AI adoption, and to develop a training plan to keep them employable.

“To sum up, the enhanced FSTI 2.0 renews and anchors MAS’ resolve to support the financial industry in its journey – a journey of continued innovation and experimentation; deepening our local talent pool in new technologies; and
better serving our societies – here in Singapore and across the world.”

Read the full speech

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