According to FinTech Weekly, FinTech is “Software and modern technology used to support and/or enable banking and other financial services”
FinTech is an opportunity for new players to enter the financial services industry, the largest industry in the world, competing or collaborating with large financial institutions. FinTech is driven by three main principles:
- Democratisation (financial services accessible to everyone)
- Transparency of financial services
- Improving customer experience
FinTech is attractive sector covering most of financial services, in particular banking and payments, investment, lending and insurance, but also infrastructure and enabling technologies like data analytics.
What We Look For
Kick-start Activities aim at elaborating the business opportunity and the technical viability of new applications and services exploiting one or more space assets (e.g. Satellite Communications, Satellite Navigation, Earth Observation, Human Space Flight Technology).
This Call for Kick-start Activities is dedicated to the theme "FinTech". It is designated to support or enable innovative FinTech-related applications and services based on the integration of space and non-space technology. Whilst the FinTech scope is broad, the following are some of the trends identified for the next few years:
- Low-cost service-based investing
i) tools and reports tailored to microinvestors with low-to-average financial knowledge, and;
ii) create platforms helping portfolio managers to mutualise large basis of microinvestors.
Artificial intelligence-based (AI) online wealth management services supported by algorithms generating tailored investment portfolios and having access to prompt and quality information sources.
- Digital-based equity crowdfunding
i) Provide accredited investors options to fund online early stage ventures asking for crowdfunding, and;
ii) create worldwide catalogues of ventures looking for investment in exchange of limited equity.
- Microinsurance and "just-in-time" insurance
i) provide very affordable insurance for low-income citizens and/or for very specific needs / periods of time, and;
ii) develop significant mutualisation schemes and low-cost mechanisms for risk assessment and claims processing.
Secured digital currencies backed by trusted electronic mechanisms (blockchain) instead of a central authority.
- (Big) data mining
Production of valuable information supporting both financial decision and advice.
Other FinTech-related applications and services different from the above list are also encouraged.
The Kick-start Activity proposed must demonstrate the relevant exploitation of space-based data and technology for instance:
- Earth Observation (SatEO): Diverse weather / environmental data useful in data analytics for financial services e.g. commodity markets, futures markers or insurance.
- Satellite navigation (SatNav): Useful for financial services requiring location. Integrity of EGNOS / Galileo can contribute to blockchain technology / crowsourcing schemes.
- Satellite communication (SatCom): Access to financial services from those locations in the world without access to the internet. Also as back-up communication for critical transactions.
Authorisation Of Funding
For the Thematic Call on "FinTech", the following ESA Member States have already made funding available:
Germany, Luxembourg, Norway and the United Kingdom.
In case you intend to submit a proposal for a Thematic Call and your company/organisation resides in another country, you are encouraged to contact the National Delegation.
Kick-start Activities resulting from thematic calls are funded at 75% by the Agency for a maximum amount of €60K per contract.
Funded participation to ESA's Business Applications Kick-start Activities is open to any public organisation, commercial client worldwide or space company (be it as group of users, public body or non-governmental organisation) residing in any of the ESA Member States that are participating to the programme.
To date, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed.
Individual ESA Member States have already made funding available for specific Thematic Calls on Kick-start Activities. For more details, please refer to the section Authorisation of Funding above.
In case you intend to submit a proposal for a Thematic Call and your company/ organisation resides in another country, you are encouraged to contact the National Delegation.