First Open Federated Learning Network to go live in Hong Kong
04 Nov 2021
Photo 1: HKSTP unveiled its FinTech Virtual Lab during the Hong Kong FinTech Week and Dr. Crystal Fok, Head of STP Platform, HKSTP introduced it which offers a R&D environment for banks, institutions and tech ventures to build and test their FinTech-related innovations.
Photo 2-3: Juni Yan, MD, Tech Innovation International, WeBank and Victor Yip, Co-Founder & CEO, Pecutus Technologies (Science Park company) shared during the Hong Kong FinTech Week on how innovative solutions can contribute to the future of FinTech, including Fintech Virtual Lab and Federated Learning.
Photo 4: Bank of China (Hong Kong) (2nd from left), Hang Seng Bank (2nd from right) and HSBC (1st from right) were the first to pioneer the Federated Learning Network during the FinTech Virtual Lab’s pilot.
Photo 5: Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP (middle), joined by Professor Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist at the Institute for the Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (right) shared insights in an on-stage panel of the Hong Kong FinTech Week hosted by Dr Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer, Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Institute (left) and discussed the intersection between finance, science, and technology, in combating climate change to build a clean, sustainable future in Hong Kong, and across the Greater Bay Area.
Photo 6: The HKSTP Pavilion features highly innovative FinTech-related solutions from 30 Science Park companies, focusing on ESG, regulatory technology and the API economy.
(Hong Kong, 4 November 2021) – At this year’s Hong Kong FinTech Week, Hong Kong Science and Technology Park Corporation (HKSTP) unveiled its FinTech Virtual Lab to accelerate FinTech research and development (R&D) and commercialisation in Hong Kong, as well as discussed how finance, science and technology can come together to address climate risk.
First-ever FinTech Virtual Lab to Accelerate FinTech R&D Ecosystem
The FinTech Virtual Lab, under HKSTP’s flagship STP Platform and supported by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), is a R&D environment giving access to banks, institutions and tech ventures to build and test their latest FinTech innovations. It addresses a major challenge faced by FinTech developers, in that they do not have sufficient data themselves, and they often need to collaborate with external data providers to build solutions together. Furthermore, the traditional machine learning approach requires all parties to upload their data onto a central server for model training. Such data transfer often cause data security and privacy concerns.
Albert Wong, CEO of HKSTP, said: “The theme of this year’s Hong Kong FinTech Week is ‘Scaling FinTech Future Together’, which is very apt for the launch of our FinTech Virtual Lab. This has been made possible through cross-industry collaboration, to promote far bigger innovation in the ecosystem. We are incredibly grateful to our pilot partners for contributing to the platform. With the upcoming rollout of the Commercial Data Interchange Platform, the FinTech Virtual Lab will serve as another powerful tool to further accelerate and commercialise Hong Kong’s FinTech innovation.”
Mr Nelson Chow, Chief Fintech Officer of the HKMA, said: “The HKMA’s Fintech 2025 strategy aims to build new data infrastructure, further expand the FinTech talent pool, and elevate the ecosystem, ultimately encouraging the financial sector to adopt technology comprehensively. We are very glad that HKSTP is launching the FinTech Virtual Lab, which resonates with our vision and provides a unique environment to drive FinTech development for the financial industry. I believe the Lab will play an important role in strengthening Hong Kong’s position as Asia’s FinTech hub.”
The Federated Learning Network in the FinTech Virtual Lab, powered by WeBank, offers a secure way for financial institutions, tech ventures and external data providers to build collaborative machine-learning models together, while allowing each company to keep data at their source. Participating companies will benefit from more powerful AI models by aggregating the insights from each other’s data, without the need to disclose their data and therefore, safeguard data privacy. This is the first Federated Learning Network proof-of-concept from HKSTP, with plans to introduce similar tools and environments for other industries in the near future.
This is also the first time a Federated Learning Network for multiple companies has been set up in Hong Kong and is ready to onboard more financial institutions and tech ventures. Bank of China (Hong Kong), Hang Seng Bank and HSBC were the first to pioneer this approach during the FinTech Virtual Lab’s pilot.
HKSTP Pavilion Features Highly Innovative FinTech-related Solutions
The aim of the FinTech Virtual Lab is to help FinTech ventures speed up their R&D activities, as well as enhance the quality of their products and services. The platform is open to FinTech ventures in Hong Kong. Among the first in line to benefit are Science Park’s park companies, 30 of whom exhibited during Hong Kong FinTech Week 2021.
Across Wednesday (Nov 3rd) and Thursday (Nov 4th), park companies focusing on ESG, regulatory technology and those in the API economy exhibited at the flagship FinTech event. This includes companies developing emerging technologies for the FinTech sector, such as in blockchain and artificial intelligence.
Building a sustainable future in Hong Kong and across the GBA
Also, as part of the Hong Kong FinTech Week 2021, HKSTP’s CEO, Albert Wong is joined by Professor Christine Loh, Chief Development Strategist at the Institute for the Environment at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, in an on-stage panel to discuss the intersection between finance, science, and technology, in combating climate change to build a clean, sustainable future in Hong Kong, and across the Greater Bay Area.