EY launches Scottish fintech lab focused on sustainable finance


EY Launches First Scottish FinTech Lab in Edinburgh

EY has launched its inaugural Scottish FinTech lab in Edinburgh, following the success of its initial lab in London. This new lab aims to collaborate with start-ups and scale-ups to develop innovative solutions for key financial challenges across the UK, with a particular emphasis on sustainable finance.

Pioneering Sustainable Finance

The first cohort of start-ups in Edinburgh’s FinTech lab explored the intersection of space science data and finance. After a successful introductory summit in 2023, FinTech Scotland, EY, and Space Scotland, supported by the UK Space Agency, initiated a program to bridge the financial services and space industries.

This program solicited proposals for projects that could utilize data to aid financial firms in developing products, particularly those that address climate change. The winning project, submitted by Environment Systems and Earth Blox, focused on the use of commodities data.

Innovative Collaboration

Earth Blox, a no-code spatial data SaaS, and Environment Systems, an environmental and agricultural data consultancy, teamed up to showcase how the financial services sector can leverage spatial data to enhance portfolio value through nature-based insights. Their project utilized both local and global spatial data to assess nature and climate risks for agricultural commodities such as asparagus, potatoes, and soy.

The solution provided insights into crop performance at individual field levels and scaled them to predict yields at local, national, and global levels. It identified unsustainable growth areas and optimal production locations while ensuring compliance with environmental regulations such as the EU Deforestation Regulation (EUDR) and the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD).

A Hub for Innovation

Located in EY’s Edinburgh office, the new lab is designed as a dynamic space for collaboration, experimentation, and rapid prototyping. It will bring together FinTechs, potential investors, clients, established financial services firms, regulators, and other partners from Edinburgh and across the UK to share information, brainstorm ideas, and develop real-world solutions.

Key Statements from Leaders

Sue Dawe, EY Scotland Financial Services Managing Partner, commented on the vibrant start-up and scale-up activity across the UK, highlighting Scotland’s growing FinTech sector. She emphasized that the new lab in Edinburgh will foster innovation and develop local talent, particularly in sustainable finance.

Nicola Anderson, FinTech Scotland CEO, praised the collaborative spirit of Scotland’s FinTech growth, noting the lab’s alignment with the strategic priorities of the FinTech Scotland Cluster, including financial inclusion and sustainability.

Dr. Hina Khan, Executive Director of Space Scotland, emphasized the potential of geospatial data in Scotland’s financial services industry. She highlighted the success of the joint accelerator program with FinTech Scotland and EY, which led to the development of solutions for the FinTech sector by EO data companies.

Expansion and Future Growth

In December 2022, EY launched its first UK FinTech lab in London. Since then, it has conducted five innovation sprints, connecting FinTechs with established financial services firms. Chris Woolard, EY’s UK Head of FinTech, reiterated the pivotal role of FinTech in driving innovation and competitiveness in the UK market. He noted that the launch of the new lab in Edinburgh represents a significant step forward in EY’s ambitious growth plan for its FinTech business in the UK.

Source: scottishfinancialnews.com