Innovate Finance, the industry body representing UK fintech, and a community of fintech academics from top UK universities have unveiled the UK FinTech Academic Network (UKFAN).
UKFAN will tackle challenges in the UK’s financial services industry with research roadmaps with key topics such as AI, open banking, payments, blockchain, regulation and green finance.
Professor Markos Zachariadis from the Alliance Manchester Business School will be the founding chair of UKFAN. He said the Network 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,” said Zachariadis. “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.”
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.
UKFAN aims to be a ‘network of networks’, developing productive and mutually supportive relationships with connected networks and organisations.
Janine Hirt, CEO of Innovate Finance, says there is a recognition that academia can play a key role in accelerating the development and growth of innovation across financial services.
Hirt comments: 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.”
Academics and scholars representing major universities with fintech research capabilities have signed up to the Network. 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.