The managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has said the city-state will commit S$225m over the next five years to create a ‘vibrant ecosystem for innovation’.
Ravi Menon, the managing director of MAS, said in a speech at the Global Technology law Conference this week that the investment that is equivalent to US$167m will be made under the Financial Sector Technology & Innovation (FSTI) scheme.
He said the FSTI will be used for three key objectives.
- innovation centres: to attract FIs to set up their R&D and innovation labs in Singapore.
- institution-level projects: to catalyse the development by FIs of innovative solutions that have the potential to promote growth, efficiency, or competitiveness.
- industry-wide projects: to support the building of industry-wide technology infrastructure that is required for the delivery of new, integrated services.
In his speech Menon said that “the geeks shall inherit the earth” and that “Technology is changing the way we live, work, and play”.
He said that everything is changing, and leading to technological innovations such as mobile payments, bitcoin and biometrics, which Singapore should embrace and adopt in order to improve productivity and welfare of Singaporeans.
He also mentioned the intention to for Singapore to move towards becoming a cashless society.
“The aim is to make payments swift, simple and secure. The vision is less cash, less cheques, fewer cards.”
As well as financial backing through the FSTI scheme, Menon said that MAS and the financial industry must work together in order to build skills and provide training opportunities.
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