Set up by Innovative Finance, the network of academics and universities has established a multidisciplinary and self-sustaining FinTech research community in the UK.

By Mr John Stevenson(Senior Communications Officer), Published

698941Professor of Security Engineering, Professor Muttukrishnan Rajarajan, has become a founding member of the UK FinTech Academic Network (UKFAN).

The Network has been established by Innovate Finance, the industry body representing UK FinTech, and a community of leading FinTech academics from top UK Universities chaired by Alliance Manchester Business School.

UKFAN has been set up to drive innovative R&D in key areas of technology where the UK can continue building on its global FinTech leadership. It will focus attention on the following areas:

  • Establishing a multidisciplinary and self-sustaining inclusive FinTech research community in the UK;
  • Bridging existing gaps between the academic, industry, and regulatory communities and help unlock new partnerships and investment in research and innovation;
  • Developing cohesive research roadmaps and future research agendas to tackle real challenges in UK financial services and the FinTech space to inform policy and practice

To achieve its vision, UKFAN will bring together researchers across all relevant academic disciplines such as finance, economics, information systems, strategy, mathematics, entrepreneurship, computer science, and humanities to contribute to the current dialogue around FinTech in industry and the public sector. The UKFAN’s annual conference is envisioned to be the UK’s flagship academic event on FinTech research.

The key areas and technologies of interest that the network will initially focus on include AI, open banking, payments, blockchain, regulation and green finance.

Building on the connectivity of the consortium across the UK FinTech landscape, and tried and tested approaches in the centres and the universities represented, UKFAN will be a ‘network of networks’, developing productive and mutually supportive relationships with connected networks and organisations.

Professor Rajarajan, Director of the Institute for Cyber Security at the City University of London, said:

I am delighted to be a founding member of the UK FinTech Academic Network. City’s membership will build on our strengths in security engineering, cybersecurity and our increasing profile in the burgeoning FinTech space. We look forward to deeper integration into the UK community of researchers and the exciting work going on in open banking, blockchain, AI, payments, regulation and green finance.

Professor Markos Zachariadis, from the Alliance Manchester Business School and chair in Financial Technology (FinTech) & Information Systems, who is the founding chair of UKFAN, said:

“We’re excited to be leading on this new initiative and partnering with Innovate Finance on the UK FinTech Academic Network, which will deliver important new research for the development of the UK’s thriving FinTech sector and serve to bridge academia and industry.The UK is the second largest FinTech destination globally, and the industry is a critical economic driver for the economy. Now is the time to combine the efforts of our world-leading UK academic institutions and supercharge the growth of the UK FinTech sector by developing the next generation of transformative technologies – and we believe that UKFAN can help facilitate that.”

Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, said:

“At Innovate Finance we recognize the key role academia can play in accelerating the development and growth of innovation across financial services. That is why we are proud to be working with Alliance Manchester Business School to launch the UK FinTech Academic Network, ensuring there is a coordinated effort that connects our world-leading, outstanding UK university sector with our world-leading, outstanding UK FinTech sector. We believe this initiative will help to move the agenda forward for financial innovation and will help further cement the UK as the top destination globally for FinTech.”

UKFAN will enjoy participation from many academics and scholars representing major universities with FinTech research capabilities. The founding members include Professors, FinTech Centre Directors and Program Directors from leading universities and research institutions in the UK. These include the University of Manchester, University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Edinburgh, Alan Turing Institute, University of Oxford, Imperial College London, University of Warwick, Loughborough University, London School of Economics, Queen Mary University of London, Gresham College and City, University of London. Innovate Finance will act as the secretariat and will help with the coordination of the UKFAN annual event during UK FinTech Week.