Standard Chartered Bank announced on Wednesday that it has opened its first-ever innovation lab in Asia, the “eXellerator.” It’s no coincidence that the lab is located in Singapore, which is becoming more and more of an innovation hub across industries.
The lab’s purpose is to explore the use of emerging technologies and data sciences in support of the bank’s digital transformation strategy. (Standard Chartered previously sealed a multi-year agreement with Singapore’s national information and communications technology research institute to jointly work on data science research and experimentation.) Finextra adds:
The bank has secured the support of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in establishing the facility. MAS has been actively encouraging the development of a ‘Smart Financial Centre’, in line with country’s ‘Smart Nation’ plan, and recently appointed a ‘chief fintech officer’, Sopnendu Mohanty, to co-ordinate its efforts.
Singaporean Bank OCBC and Hong Kong accelerator Nest also established fintech innovation centers in Singapore within the last year. In December Blouin News covered Singapore’s efforts to promote its STEM (science, technology, engineering, math)-based economy, including a partnership with 3D printing firm Stratasys. At the same time, global shipping firm DHL announced its $7.1 million Asia Pacific Innovation Centre in Singapore, which showcases driverless shuttles, robots, advanced optical gear, and delivery drones, among other innovations. And last month Blouin News reported on ASEAN’s future growth via technological growth. One of three “U.S.-ASEAN Connect” tech/entrepreneurial hubs is being established in Singapore, focusing on “Business, Energy, Innovation, and Policy.”
For Singapore, innovation isn’t just a buzzword, it’s key to having a competitive economy.