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Dubai Financial Services Authority Publishes Innovation Programme Progress Report

09 Mar 2020

The Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) has publishes its Innovation Programme Progress Report. The Report highlights the DFSA’s observations and lessons learnt since inception of the DFSA’s Innovation Testing Licence (ITL) Programme.

Launched in 2017, the ITL enables firms to test innovative solutions in or from the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in a controlled regulatory environment, without being subject to the full suite of regulatory requirements that apply to Authorised Firms. To date, 41 companies have applied to the Programme, 20 companies have been accepted into the Programme, and two companies have graduated from the Programme. The ITL facilitates engagement and education with the innovative community, assisting firms to develop an understanding of the regulatory environment, and provides the DFSA with valuable insight into building appropriate and proportionate regulatory responses and frameworks. 

Chief Executive of the DFSA, Mr Bryan Stirewalt remarked: “Technology and innovation has had a transformative effect on the financial services industry in recent years. The ITL Programme was created to encourage innovation in the DIFC while safeguarding consumers against risk. The Programme has been successful in enabling the DFSA to deepen its understanding of the risks and benefits of these new concepts and allowing firms to test their ideas within a regulatory framework. The Programme will continue to evolve to support the market and we look forward to continuing to support the development of innovation in the DIFC and Dubai.”   

The ITL supports broader Dubai and UAE governmental initiatives such as the National Innovation Strategy in driving innovation, facilitating the development of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME), and promoting Islamic Finance. The ITL contributes to the DIFC’s FinTech ecosystem, complementing initiatives such as the DIFC’s Startupbootcamp and FinTech Hive.

Applications for the next cohort will be accepted from 1-31 May 2020. For more information, please visit the DFSA website at http://www.dfsa.ae/FinTech.