Developed by ADGM, the annual Innovation Challenge connects financial solution providers with ‘corporate champions’ to encourage economic development across the financial sector.
Led by the ADGM’s Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), these corporate champions from the financial services and real estate sectors are developing challenge statements and have released a global call for applications from start-ups and technology vendors.
Participants will have access to the ADGM Digital Lab, a digital sandbox and marketplace that provides start-ups with tools to support their technical development from synthetic data to an ecosystem of UAE-based financial institutions and government agencies as potential partners.
Corporate champions will be hosting demo days at their headquarters focused on their specific challenge statements and will be inviting shortlisted applicants to pitch to an audience of internal stakeholders with the goal to collaborate commercially.
The lead corporate champions participating are HSBC and the retail banking company RAKBANK, which are in addition to the Abu Dhabi-based real estate developer Aldar.
A list of the specific challenge statements issued by each Corporate Champion is available on the ADGM Innovation Challenge webpage.
In order to help establish and facilitate the growth of digital capabilities across the UAE’s financial services sector, the FSRA has this year put out two of its own challenge statements.
The first regards virtual asset wallets, for which the regulator is looking for a demonstration of control and ownership functionality as it seeks to implement regulation for virtual asset and decentralised finance (DeFi) firms.
Additionally, following the launch of its open regulation initiative in the ADGM GitHub repository, the FSRA is inviting the global developer community to develop AI-enabled tools to support regulatory compliance.
Speaking on the Challenge’s sixth edition, and its pursuit of forging new partnerships between Corporate Champions, start-ups, developers and service providers, Emmanuel Givanakis, CEO of the FSRA, said “the creativity in digital solutions showcased by budding tech companies enables the harnessing of unexplored technological opportunities within various aspects of the financial services industry.”
“Partnering with technology innovators to enable new customer benefits is central to our digitising at scale approach, and the ADGM Innovation Challenge provides a useful platform to engage, learn and share best practice with a diverse and ambitious group of start-ups in the programme,” added Abdulfattah Sharaf, CEO of HSBC UAE and additionally the head of international, HSBC Bank Middle East Limited.
In addition to this, Raheel Ahmed, CEO of RAKBANK, comments: “At RAKBANK, we actively develop new services and propositions for our retail and business customers in partnership with fintechs. Above all, this helps drive digital transformation, discover new talent, and foster collaboration. To help solve a high-value problem for our clients, we look forward to engaging with respondents to our Innovation Challenge.”
Applications for the Innovation Challenge will be open until 14 April 2023 and will be assessed against key criteria, such as how well rounded is the solution in addressing the challenge, its operational readiness and ease of implementation.