Islamic fintech is a key focus of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)’s new Islamic Finance Research Support Program, underscoring the regulator’s commitment to developing new technologies and supporting digital initiatives to advance the Islamic finance proposition.
The Islamic Finance Research Support Program is designed to support researchers in Saudi Arabia and abroad, as part of the Kingdom’s ambitious Vision 2030.
“The program will enhance Saudi Arabia’s leading role in the Islamic finance sector globally and will confirm SAMA’s continuous effort and determination to achieve integration in the research system as part of its social responsibility obligations and pivotal role in the field,” the regulator elaborated.
Apart from fintech, the dual-track program also covers research in the different sectors of Islamic finance; regulations, standards and Shariah governance; endowment or Waqf; as well as capital markets and investments.
Under the first track, beginner researchers working on their graduation theses for Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees will receive support to complete and improve their papers as individuals. Each research paper will receive SAR20,000 (US$5,325.89) in cash reward.
The second track, on the other hand, is for professional researchers who have conducted Islamic finance research before and published in international journals. They would be able to participate in the program as individuals or as members of a joint research team which includes a researcher from SAMA. Each selected research paper will be awarded SAR40,000 (US$10,651.8). SAMA has allocated SAR100,000 (US$26,629.5) to be awarded equally to the top winning research papers.