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25 October, 2020 - 01:20 By Tony Quested

Cambridge drives FinTech and digital intel deeper into crucial territories

Robert Wardrop, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance

Cambridge is spearheading a pioneering move to accelerate technology enabled financial innovation and knowledge sharing in huge and previously underserved territories.

The new collaboration will inform FinTech market development and regulatory innovation through generation of data, insight, digital tools and a suite of capacity building and education programmes.

The initiative is being jointly steered by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) based at Cambridge Judge Business School and the Ioannis Gregoriou School of Business Administration at the European University Cyprus. It covers the massive MENA-MED region – the Middle East and North Africa, including Gulf territories, and the Mediterranean.

The venture will see a dedicated team recruited to facilitate collaborative research under three highly integrated pillars to contribute to the creation and transfer of FinTech and digital financial services (DFS) related knowledge. 

The partners say the move will help facilitate FinTech and DFS market development and effect regulatory changes across MENA-MED and beyond.

At the outset, the partners will undertake in-depth diagnostic analyses on the market and regulatory environment in the region. The results will be deployed via the second pillar – the development of digital tools that will inform both regulatory and market decision-making. 

The third pillar will deliver evidence-based capacity-building and education programmes for regulators and policymakers. This will include activities ranging from online programmes to offline, in-situ training in the region.

This latest initiative marks a complementary collaboration agreement to those signed already this year with FSD Africa in sub-Saharan Africa and Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy in MENA.

Dr Robert Wardrop, director and co-founder of the CCAF, said: “With a burgeoning FinTech sector and strong government leadership in the area of innovation, we believe that Cyprus will be an important strategic link between the Mediterranean and the MENA regions, complementing our existing collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Global Market Academy in particular. 

“Given the EUC’s credentials for technology-driven academic and research programmes, plus its strong links to firms, regulators and policymakers in the financial sector, we are delighted to be working together to further the impact of FinTech in the region.”

Christoforos Hadjikyprianou, CEO and president of the Council, European University Cyprus, said the venture was leveraging a clear global shift. He said: “By working closely with leading experts in the field in Cyprus, the UK and beyond, and by engaging with institutional and corporate stakeholders as well as academics, we believe this agreement will generate new thinking and offer a better understanding of a global shift that is already having strong implications for regional economic development and corporate finance.” 

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