ADGM's Digital Lab went live on Sunday, April 4th, and offers a virtual environment with access to resources such as data, APIs, system images and reference architectures.
By providing this unique environment, the ADGM Digital Lab enables the industry to identify and address shared challenges together. Participants are enabled to validate their new solutions with a replication of their own technology stack more readily. It also includes a virtual space to pose industry challenges for fintechs to address and provide solutions.
The ADGM Digital Lab invites the following types of entities to participate:
- Financial services
- Tech vendors
- Professional services
- Government organisations
- Venture capitalists
One of the key challenges financial institutions encounter in their ability to adopt innovation is the process of procuring, and thereafter integrating with their legacy systems, digital solutions offered by FinTechs and other technology providers in a timely and cost-effective manner.
With the specific aim of solving this challenge, the ADGM Digital Lab is built with functionalities that enable testing and verification of new products or solutions prior to procurement, thereby expediting time to market for financial institutions in a cost-effective manner.
- API-driven connectivity: enabling the use of APIs that meet international security and interoperability standards to connect between the systems of financial institutions and FinTechs or technology providers. Before listing an API on the Digital Marketplace, the API-provider is required to complete a conformance and certification process, which will help determine whether they have implemented each part of the standards correctly.
- Docker images and containerisation: enabling financial institutions to easily replicate their core-banking systems in secure, access-controlled containers
- Low-code workflow tools: empowering teams across financial institutions that may not have an IT background to collaborate together and use simple drag and drop functionalities to experiment with how new tech solutions can interact with and improve existing workflows or create / enhance products
- Challenge notice board: through which ADGM Digital Lab users seeking tech solutions can post their problem statements and source solutions from the firms listed on the ADGM Digital Lab Marketplace. For instance, financial institutions may pose problem statements and invite fintechs and regulators to run and test proofs-of-concept (POCs) that can lead to eventual production.
- Synthetic data generator: where access to synthetic data will facilitate innovation testing in full compliance with data protection requirements
Overall, ADGM has created an online community where stakeholders across the board can collaborate to test the feasibility of new products and services,
“In the GCC region, the digital transformation agenda has steadily become an important focus of many financial institutions and banks," Wai Lum, senior executive director of capital markets at the ADGM's Financial Services Regulatory Authority, told the UAE's The National. "However, when it comes to actual implementation, banks are faced with a few challenges. There is a lack of a safe and conducive environment for them to test out their innovation before procurement," he said.
"There were instances when the banks realized after going through the procurement process that the technology was not up to their requirements. So, we decided to invest in a digital laboratory or a digital sandbox.”
Within hours of launch, there were 37 stakeholders on the Digital Marketplace. These included regulators, banks, venture capitalists, FinTechs and technology companies, ADGM said. It also listed 17 application programming interfaces (APIs) or products on the platform. (Source: The National, Alkesha Sharma)
Interested entities can register on the Digital Lab platform.