Launch of the National Centre of Excellence in Financial Technologies

The University of Luxembourg inaugurated the National Centre of Excellence in Financial Technologies (NCER-FT) on 29 March 2023.


The NCER-FinTech is an interdisciplinary initiative that focuses on the financial industry’s technological challenges and opportunities. Led by researchers from the University of Luxembourg’s Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT) and the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF), the NCER-FinTech implements a singular interdisciplinary research and innovation approach, combining expertise from technology, finance, and law.

NCER-FT Director Prof. Gilbert Fridgen (right) with Project Manager Veronique Schlick

This interdisciplinary research approach remains rare in the world, but is essential for developing practical, sustainable solutions to the challenges of digitalisation in finance. This new initiative will strengthen Luxembourg’s position as an innovative financial hub by attracting talents and providing world-class research and education for the sector in Luxembourg. The NCER-FinTech has been created with the co-financing of the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR), and with the support of the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the Ministry of Finance.


The NCER-FinTech research roadmap focuses on four topics:


• new frontiers for digital and automated finance;

• regulatory technology and compliance by design;

• financial inclusion; as well as

• trust and security.


The projects that make up the NCER-FinTech provide a framework to develop high-quality research, novel ideas, products and services for the financial industry of tomorrow. By stimulating research with innovative approaches for the financial industry in Luxembourg, the relationship between the research ecosystem and the financial sector will deepen and increase in scope. The NCER-FinTech is dedicated to fostering the growth of digital finance in Luxembourg by leveraging advanced technologies. To this end, the initiative will strive to maintain an equilibrium between demand-driven research initiatives, real-world testing of research outcomes, and fundamental research endeavours that offer significant contributions towards long-term innovation.

“ICT solutions that are secure, compliant, and trustworthy are a core component of the financial asset management and insurance sectors,” said Prof. Yves Le Traon, former Principal Investigator of the project, now Director of SnT. 


“SnT and FDEF bring together expertise in these topics, including cybersecurity, blockchain, decentralised finance, artificial intelligence, machine learning, law, and finance. Together we will introduce exciting new directions for the financial industry to explore,” continued Prof. Yves Le Traon. The NCER-FinTech is now led by Prof. Gilbert Fridgen, PayPal-FNR PEARL chair and Head of the Digital Financial Services and Cross-Organisational Digital Transformations (FINATRAX) research group.


To quick-start the initiative, 14 interdisciplinary projects are being launched in the ramp-up phase of two years. This ambitious, collaborative approach to research in financial technologies fosters a dynamic culture of technological innovation in Luxembourg’s strongest industry spanning actors from banking, asset management, insurance and FinTechs.


“The University of Luxembourg is looking to bring talent and ideas from around the world to the financial institutions of Luxembourg. Facilitating collaborations among all stakeholders with diverse expertise will expedite the development of this crucial national sector by introducing a varied knowledge base into the country,” said Rector of the University of Luxembourg, Jens Kreisel.


“I am confident that the NCER-FinTech has inspired, and will continue to inspire, the present and future generations of researchers in finance, computer science and law, at the University of Luxembourg and beyond, to think past their own horizon, and reach out to new knowledge frontiers,” said Prof. Katalin Ligeti, Dean of the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance.


Yuriko Backes, former Minister of Finance, commented: “As a leading future-oriented international financial centre, Luxembourg must have a state-of-the-art research environment that can match its level of ambition. By focusing on cutting edge interdisciplinary research, the NCER-FinTech will play a key role in helping develop new talent in Luxembourg, support the competitiveness of our financial centre and strengthen our FinTech ecosystem to drive the digital transformation of the Luxembourg financial sector.”


“The NCER-FinTech fully aligns with the Luxembourg National Research and Innovation Strategy especially with its interdisciplinary projects anchored in cross-collaboration with SnT, FDEF and into the financial market, boosting two out of four research priority areas: the Industrial and Service Transformation as well as the 21st Century Education. It will reinforce the University’s mission and vision, expanding and reinforcing its science research areas, already well known for its excellence at an international level,” said Claude Meisch, minister for Higher Education and Research.