The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has pledged to invest SGD 250 million to accelerate growth of Singapore’s technology and financial sector over the next three years, media reports said. The MAS also plans to boost large-scale innovation projects and establish a strong foundation of Singaporean fintech talent.
It is reported that the investment is a part of the Financial Sector Technology and Innovation Scheme (FSTI 2.0). The development was unveiled by Ravi Menon, the MAS managing director, at a virtual fintech event.
The original FTSI scheme was started in 2015 when the MAS injected $225 million for five years. However, this year the funding has been ramped up to accelerate Singapore’s development. The new scheme capital will be increased from SGD 200,000 to SGD 400,000, under the proof-of-concept grant.
Earlier, the qualifying projects received 50 percent funding support but now a merit-based tiered funding mechanism will replace it. The projects which have stronger merits will receive a higher level of capital.
According to the MAS, a strong funding support will pave the way for fintech firms and financial institutions to embark on experiments to develop and deploy innovative solutions under larger-scale POC projects.
Furthermore, there is also an increase in capital from SGD 1 million to SGD 1.5 million for AI-based projects listed under AI and data analytics grant. In a move to boost fresh Singaporean talents and expand labs, the MAS will also fund new innovation labs.
The move by the MAS amid the Covid-19 shows courage and determination as many Southeast Asian economies have been scrambling to restart businesses.