2021 saw the establishment of a brand-new initiative at SnT backed by the Ministry of Finance – the Finnovation Hub. Headed by industry expert, Jean Hilger, the Finnovation Hub aims to help Luxembourg continue its reputation as one of the world’s leading financial centres.
Financial services represent the largest sector of Luxembourg’s economy. Naturally, it is therefore a priority research area for SnT. The aim of the Finnovation Hub will be to identify key areas in which to advance the digital transformation of Luxembourg’s financial institutions – and work with our SnT researchers to develop technologies that will help the sector address these challenges.
In recent decades, new breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, data analytics and distributed-ledger technologies have revolutionised the finance industry – and have enhanced competition amongst industry players. SnT has a long track record of leveraging these technologies not just in the FinTech domain, but also within cybersecurity, regulatory compliance and fraud detection.
“Emerging technologies, including AI and DLTs such as blockchain and quantum computing, bring new opportunities as well as new challenges for the financial sector. This rapid digitalisation has been further spurred by the recent pandemic. The Finnovation Hub fuels research activities aimed at solving challenges in the financial services sector and will facilitate the transfer of innovative technology to both the public and private sector,” said Yuriko Backes, Luxembourg’s Minister of Finance.
The first aims of the Hub will be to identify and structure industry priorities – such as the resilience of the financial sector, which increasingly depends on digitised services. Its other focal points will include the radical paradigm and business model changes that are enabled by decentralised finance settings, new tools to deal with increased regulatory reporting and compliance, as well as increasing overall competitiveness of the financial centre, by supporting the development and application of promising new technologies. “The Finnovation Hub will be assisting the financial sector in further embracing cutting-edge technology – with a view to improve efficiency of processes, reforming business models and advancing digital services, to shape the financial industry of tomorrow. These are aspects addressed in highly competitive fields that companies strive to champion in, or challenges that can be addressed in a mutualised setting and benefit the whole financial community,” states Hilger.
The initiative will use the capacity of SnT research teams to gather financial institutions around mutualisation projects powered by new technology concepts – helping to bring state-of-the-art applied research results to market. Furthermore, it aims to expand upon the success of SnT’s Partnership Programme to take innovation in Luxembourg’s financial sector to the next level.
“We are pleased to have Dr. Jean Hilger lead this effort. With a career spanning three decades in digital innovation, Jean Hilger has been an honorary professor at SnT since 2013, as well as the former Senior Vice President and Head of Information Technology at Spuerkeess. He now serves as Innovation Advisor to the CEO of Spuerkeess, Chairman of LUXHUB and Chairman of the Digital Strategy Committee at the Luxembourg Bankers Association (ABBL),” said Björn Ottersten, Director of SnT.