NatWest, Edinburgh Uni, in innovation partnership

NatWest CEO Alison Rose and University of Edinburgh Principal Peter Mathieson

NatWest Group and the University of Edinburgh announced a new partnership based on “challenge-led research and innovation” that will improve how data is used to benefit bank customers, students, researchers and policy makers.

“The Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking will combine business insights from NatWest Group (NWG) with the university’s research, data and social science expertise to co-create data-driven, novel solutions for the future of banking,” said NatWest.

“The Centre builds on previous joint work between the university and the banking group around technological innovation in financial services provision, harnessing data for public good and climate education.

“The new strategic partnership, supported by Edinburgh Innovations, the University of Edinburgh’s commercialisation service, is planned for five years, with an initial commitment of £2m from NWG for the first two years of activity.”

NatWest CEO Alison Rose said: “By combining the University of Edinburgh’s world class research and social science expertise with NatWest’s in-depth customer and business understanding, we are creating a partnership which drives innovation and ensures that our customer experience is best in class.

“This, once again, shows that through the power of partnerships, we can support the people, families and business we serve and help them thrive.”

University of Edinburgh Principal Peter Mathieson said: “Our world is faced with a variety of significant and complex challenges, from poor health to climate change and the complicated mix of challenge and opportunity associated with the emergence of artificial intelligence.

“The Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking will bring together the University’s expertise with NatWest’s in-depth data and business understanding to co-create multidisciplinary research with business applications.

“The insights generated will help us translate cutting edge research into real world solutions to benefit society.”

Professor Michael Rovatsos, Chair in Artificial Intelligence at the university’s School of Informatics, will co-direct the Centre with Professor Gbenga Ibikunle, Chair in Finance at the University of Edinburgh Business School.

Ibikunle said: “The Centre for Purpose-Driven Innovation in Banking is another enhancement of the excellent student experience we provide at the University of Edinburgh.

“It will present our students and researchers with industry challenges and interactions to develop our talent for the future, and help our students secure graduate jobs.

“It will also ensure the impact of our research on the financial services sector and society beyond.”