Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), the leading international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, is pleased to launch the fifth edition of the Innovation Challenge.  Hosted as part of Fintech Abu Dhabi, the MENA region’s largest Fintech festival, the Innovation Challenge is ADGM’s flagship initiative, held to develop innovative solutions to specific financial services challenges to enable a diverse, sustainable and competitive economy.

This year, ADGM is partnering with Corporate Champions from the financial, corporate and government sectors to develop specific challenge statements for the Innovation Challenge, wherein successful Fintech applicants will have the opportunity to work alongside these entities to develop innovative solutions to these issues. The Corporate Champions include Emirates NBD, Etihad Credit Insurance, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Pearl Data Direct, The Saudi British Bank and Standard Chartered Bank. A list of the specific challenge statements issued by each Corporate Champion is available here.  

The ADGM Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) will also sponsor a challenge statement on Suptech, which refers to the use of innovative technology by regulatory agencies, to develop a solution that allows real time oversight of client capital and investments.

Applications will be assessed against the key criteria of how well the solution addresses the challenge, the maturity and scalability of the solution, and how the solution might be deployed in the UAE. Shortlisted Fintechs will be invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of judges at Fintech Abu Dhabi 2021, to be held from 22-24 November 2021.

Winners will go on to work with Corporate Champions to develop proofs-of-concept (PoC) and test their solutions using the ADGM Digital Lab, with the potential to earn commercial contracts.  They will be eligible to win attractive prizes sponsored by the Corporate Champions, as well as stipend payments from ADGM.

ADGM would like to invite Fintechs to put forward their solutions to the proposed challenge statements by signing up to the ADGM Digital Lab. The ADGM Digital Lab is a digital sandbox and marketplace, supported by the Government of Abu Dhabi accelerator programme, Ghadan 21, which enables open collaboration and innovation by bringing Fintechs, financial institutions, and regulators together to drive digital transformation. Leveraging smart digital tools to generate synthetic data and simulate core banking operating systems, financial institutions can replicate a testing environment in the Digital Lab and invite Fintechs and regulators to run PoCs that can eventually be brought into production.

“The FSRA is excited to launch the Fintech Abu Dhabi Innovation Challenge by using the ADGM Digital Lab to host innovative solutions and foster collaborative partnerships between Fintechs and corporate institutions, transforming the financial services industry at a time when digitalisation has become the key to success.” said Mr Emmanuel Givanakis, Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM.

The 2020 edition of the Fintech Abu Dhabi Festival featured an action-packed agenda that brought together more than 150 top speakers, 10 Fintech unicorns and 100 of the world’s most promising Fintechs. The event attracted over 20,000 live participants, watching virtually from over 100 countries across the globe.