The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence project hits a new milestone

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The Scottish bid for the development  of The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence (GOFCOE) has received very good feedback from the Strength in Places Fund assessors and moves to the second stage.

In October 2018 a Scottish consortium decided to come together behind the ambitious project of launching the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence in Edinburgh and apply for funding from the Strength in Places fund.

The University of Edinburgh, FinTech Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and the Financial Data And Technology Association (FDATA) joined forces to produce a very strong application.

Open Banking, and its impending evolutions into open finance more generally, is the biggest global trend in financial services, for people and for businesses.

A centre of excellence would be a world first, providing leadership, coordination, research and capability to support this rapidly expanding and evolving phenomenon.

The GOFCOE is one of twenty-four ambitious projects, from pharmaceuticals to aerospace, and transport to the creative economy, that have received early-stage funding to develop full-stage bids that could lead to significant economic growth in places.

The GOFCOE project will receive early-stage funding, which will allow for the development of full-stage bids.

Ultimately, eight of the strongest bids are set to receive additional funding to carry out projects designed to drive substantial economic growth.

Announced in the modern Industrial Strategy in November 2017, the Strength in Places Fund will benefit all nations and regions of the UK by enabling them to tap into the world-class research and innovation capability that is spread right across the country. The fund brings together research organisations, businesses, and local leadership on projects that will lead to significant economic impact, high-value job creation and regional growth.

Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: 

‘Our clear vision is to ensure we benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas. Significant support through the Strength in Places Fund will further catalyse economic potential across the country by bringing researchers, industry and regional leadership together to drive sustained growth through world-class research and innovation.’

The Government confirmed in the 2018 Budget that the Strength in Places Fund is to receive a further £120m to bring the fund budget for the period up to 2021/22 to £236m.

Stephen Ingledew, Chief Executive at FinTech Scotland said:

“The Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence builds on Scotland’s heritage of financial services and enviable entrepreneurial track record combined with an enlightened and progressive culture which aligns the social and economic benefits of innovation. Going forward the Centre of Excellence focused on data driven innovation will support the inclusive growth objectives of Scotland, leveraging the ongoing role of international collaboration across Europe and globally with the private sector, consumer groups, academia, regulators, governments”

Jarmo Eskelinen, Director of the Data-Driven Innovation initiative at the University of Edinburgh said:

“The University of Edinburgh is delighted to support the Global Open Finance Centre of Excellence [GOFCOE] and to be developing this exciting project in partnership with FinTech Scotland, FData Global, Industry and Academia across the central belt of Scotland. The success of the Strength In Places Fund [SIPF] bid is confirmation of the importance of innovation for industrial strategy in the UK and we look forward to engaging with the consortium to develop the GOFCOE in the coming months. As a partner in the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal, this project exemplifies all we are aiming to achieve through our Data-Driven Innovation initiative; attracting talent and investment to the region; linking world-class researchers and data analytics expertise with industry and innovating to drive new products and services.”

Danny Cusick, Director Multi Sectors at Scottish Enterprise said:

“We’re excited to be developing this project with our partners as it has the potential to bring substantial economic benefits through increased innovation and inclusive growth to firmly establish Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in Open Finance. Scotland already has exceptional capabilities in fintech and data and the Centre of Excellence demonstrates what we can achieve through collaboration to create competitive advantage for Scotland.”

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