The national cluster organisation for financial technology (fintech) firms in Scotland has published a ground-breaking research and innovation (R&I) roadmap with the aim of boosting economic recovery, driving growth and creating jobs over the next ten years.
FinTech Scotland wants to help create an additional 20,000 plus fintech-related jobs as well as produce an increase in economic gross value add (GVA) through fintech innovation from £0.5bn GVA today to £2.1bn GVA by 2031.
The industry led Fintech R&I Roadmap, the first of its kind in the UK, has been developed by the cluster body FinTech Scotland in collaboration with fintech entrepreneurs, the financial services sector, academia, regulators, government bodies and consumer groups.
The cross-industry-led collaboration has resulted in four key strategic innovation themes which provide the foundation for the roadmap; these are open finance data, climate finance, financial regulation and payments and transactions.
The roadmap is published on the anniversary of the HM Treasury commissioned Review of Fintech led by Ron Kalifa OBE which set out a number of recommendations, including the opportunity for research and innovation to accelerate the development of cluster excellence.
Nicola Anderson, chief executive of FinTech Scotland, who co-authored the roadmap with executive chairman Stephen Ingledew, said: “The R&I Roadmap demonstrates how collaborative fintech innovation can drive positive economic and social outcomes. I would like to thank industry, academia and all participants for their enthusiastic engagement and contributions in producing this action orientated roadmap. As a dynamic tool, work is already underway with partners across the FinTech Scotland cluster and the UK”.
Ron Kalifa OBE, said: “This roadmap aligns with the recommendations I set out in the Review of UK Fintech and supports our national ambition to encourage growth by creating the right conditions for innovation. I believe the roadmap can act as a stimulus for purposeful UK wide fintech collaboration and I am excited to see the positive impact of this work.”
John Glen, economic secretary to the HM Treasury and city minister, said: “Our fintech sector is a global success story, with record levels of investment over the last year. The Government is committed to supporting UK fintech as it goes from strength to strength, including by ensuring we draw on the huge amounts of knowledge and expertise across all of the UK. So, it is great to see the initiative taken by FinTech Scotland in developing this new industry-led tool, and I look forward to seeing how the roadmap develops.”
Finance Secretary Kate Forbes said: “Scotland is one of the best places in Europe to start and grow a fintech firm and I am delighted to see the industry focusing on research and innovation as we move forward with Scotland’s economic, social and environmental transformation. This roadmap sets ambitious targets for sectoral growth and job creation, building on the wealth of talent and innovation that exists across the wider tech ecosystem in Scotland.”
Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at City of London Corporation said: “Nurturing research and innovation are integral to the success of the UK as a global financial hub. FinTech Scotland’s R&I roadmap highlights the undercurrent of support for the ecosystem and the transformative power that cultivating this sector can have across society. The dynamism of the roadmap will act as a pioneer and The City of London Corporation welcomes the progress made and we look forward to seeing Scotland yield the benefits of these to drive growth.”
Janine Hirt, chief executive of Innovate Finance, said: “We will need to innovate and evolve business models to finance and enable a greener future. We look forward to further collaboration with FinTech Scotland as this R&I roadmap contributes to industry working with government and regulators to maintain the UK position as a global leader of fintech innovation and green finance.”
Peter Mathieson, principal and vice chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “As one of the founding members of FinTech Scotland, the University is committed to supporting Scotland and the UK achieve the ambition to be a global fintech leader. We have academic excellence across many disciplines and this roadmap invites us to harness data-driven innovation and build purposeful collaboration across sectors to meet the challenges of open finance, financial inclusion and the transition to Net-Zero.”
Adrian Gillespie, chief executive of Scottish Enterprise, added: “The FinTech R&I roadmap sets out an ambitious path establishing Scotland as a global digital economy leader. It creates the foundations for us to explore transformational opportunities, building on the wealth of talent and innovation that exists across the wider tech ecosystem.”
Kevin Colins, the interim chief executive of the Smart Data Foundry, which sponsored the development of the roadmap, said: “Traditionally, financial services have seen universities as a source of graduate talent, rather than supporting their research and innovation needs. I’m proud to partner with Fintech Scotland to help deliver these recommendations and work with universities to meet the increasing demands from the sector.”
The full Fintech Research and Innovation Roadmap is available here.