MAS FSTI Proof-of-Concept Grant

The MAS Financial Sector Technology and Innovation (FSTI) Proof of Concept (POC) scheme provides funding support for experimentation, development and dissemination of nascent innovative technologies in the financial services sector.

The FSTI Scheme is valid until March 2023, MAS said in a press release.

Funding Support

Funding Amount - Up to 70% of qualifying costs and up to a cap of SGD400,000, depending on the outcome of the panel evaluation.

Funding Duration - Up to 18 months.

Eligible Applicants - MAS-regulated financial institutions or technology /solution providers working with MAS-regulated financial institutions for the early stage development of novel solutions to problems in the financial industry.

Qualifying Criteria

An applicant must be either:

  • A financial institution that is licensed, regulated, supervised or registered by MAS; or
  • A technology or solution provider (including start-ups, professional services and consultancy firms) with at least one financial institution that is licensed, regulated, supervised or registered by MAS sponsoring the project. Project sponsors need not have a direct financial stake in the project, but must exhibit active engagement and commitment to see the project to completion.

Applicants may submit multiple proposals if there are multiple distinct components within a project that fit the qualifying criteria. Each proposal will be treated as a separate project, and will be evaluated and funded separately.

Investigative project     

Projects which aim to develop a novel concept of resolving business use-case problems, using technology or business processes. The funding % and funding cap will be tiered according to the outcome of Stage 2 - Panel Evaluation.

For applicants that received 3 favourable recommendations: The funding % will be 50%, and the funding cap will be $200,000.

For applicants that received 4 favourable recommendations: The funding % will be 60%, and the funding cap will be $300,000.

For applicants that received 5 favourable recommendations: The funding % will be 70%, and the funding cap will be $400,000.

Qualifying Costs

Basic manpower costs - Basic salaries plus employee's CPF contribution, excluding: Employer's CPF contribution, annual wage supplements, bonuses, allowances (fixed and variable) and overtime. The salaries of founders and direct owners of the applicants are specifically excluded.

Professional services costs - Includes consultancy, sub-contracting, prototyping costs by third-party locally-based companies/vendors. Equipment or software costs. Includes purchase price and costs related to commissioning and operation (e.g. delivery, installation, handling). Only project-related technical software costs are supported.

IP rights - Includes licensing and technology acquisition costs from non-related parties.

Other Expenses - Includes project-related training by external parties, patent-related costs, and rental of specialised equipment or facilities.

Evaluation Cycle

The application submission dates for the respective evaluation cycles are:

Q1 - 1 to 31 March - 1 April to 30 June.

Q2 - 1 to 30 June - 1 July to 30 September.

Q3 - 1 to 30 September - 1 October to 31 December.

Q4 - 1 to 31 December - 1 January to 31 March.

Evaluation Stages

Proposals are accepted and evaluated on fixed quarterly cycles, and go through three evaluation stages:

Stage I: Eligibility screening - Proposals are assessed for eligibility based on the stated qualifying criteria.

Stage II: Panel Evaluation - Proposals are assessed by an external panel of practitioners for novelty, potential utility, and likelihood of success.

Stage III: MAS' Assessment - MAS will take into account the recommendation and comments from the evaluation panel, and assess if the POC grant should be awarded. You are strongly encouraged not to commence your project prior to the approval of the grant award. If you choose to do so before the approval of the grant award, you will bear the project costs that have already been incurred, should the proposal be rejected.