Kerry-based global fintech Fexco has embarked on a €3m joint research project called FintechNext with University College Cork(UCC) and Science Foundation Ireland.

The project, which will initially create 12 research roles to study three key industry verticals – including treasury/foreign exchange, digital tax and corporate asset administration – could play a role in spearheading regional and rural impact.

It will potentially do so through job creation and training, putting the Munster region at the heart of technological developments in fintech, and diversifying the economy of the region from its industrial and agricultural past.

A Munster fintech innovation hub
The research team will be colocated between Fexco headquarters in Killorglin, where the company already employs more than 1,000 of its global 2,300-strong workforce, and UCC.

The collaboration, led by Prof Philip O’Reilly of Cork University Business School, aims to stimulate the joint development of innovative solutions that will put Ireland on the world map as a fintech innovation hub.

In July 2018 Fexco announced plans to recruit 175 additional highly skilled staff to expand its research, development and information technology capabilities.

“Investment in research is key to developing and delivering the next generation of products, services and innovations that will disrupt the fintech sector, an industry that has been critical to the continued growth and development of the south-west of Ireland and of Fexco,” said Fexco CEO Denis McCarthy.
“Fexco will enjoy a dual benefit from this project: the first is the opportunity to be at the forefront of identifying new trends and technologies that could create new markets for our business, and the second in welcoming a team of world-renowned research experts to the organisation. Fexco’s staff, including myself, stand to learn a huge amount from them.”

The proposed outputs of the collaboration include commercially viable fintech prototypes and associated intellectual property as well as a dedicated fintech knowledge repository centred at UCC.
“This ambitious project aims to drive real opportunities here in Kerry and is an excellent example of how investing in innovation will support higher-value jobs in our rural regions,” Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe, TD, said.

John Kennedy

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