ASTRI establishes FinTech Future Leader Academy to cultivate I&T talent with industry partners

[Hong Kong, 25 January 2022] The Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) has established the FinTech Future Leader Academy, with a programme designed exclusively for undergraduates in their second or third year, or postgraduates, in relevant disciplines including I&T and Business. The Academy offers young participants opportunities to get an in-depth look at FinTech development and gain insights into the FinTech industry by working as an intern in ASTRI. This will be supplemented by field visits to the programme’s nine supporting organisations, which include Bank of China (Hong Kong) (BOCHK), China Life (Overseas), Cyberport, Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP), IBM, Microsoft Hong Kong, and Ping An OneConnect Bank (PAOB).

Dr Denis Yip, Chief Executive Officer of ASTRI, said: “Demand for FinTech talent is surging across the world. We hope that the FinTech Future Leader Academy will give young people practical FinTech experience by enabling them to take part in innovative FinTech projects, and equip them with the skills they need to enhance their professionalism and employability. I would like to express my sincere gratitude to our partners, who have played a pivotal role in the FinTech ecosystem. Their support will enable the young talents on the programme to gain multiple perspectives on FinTech and broaden their horizons. I believe the programme will help expand the FinTech talent pool in Hong Kong and drive FinTech development here under the ‘FinTech 2025’ strategy.”

Mr Rocky Cheng, General Manager, Information Technology of BOCHK, said: “FinTech in Hong Kong has been undergoing rapid development in recent years, with a wide application of Fintech in several major areas of financial businesses and regulatory compliance. ‘Innovation’ and ‘transformation’ are not only the important elements for enterprises to drive fintech development, but also the key for young talents to equip themselves for shaping the future. BOCHK fully supports the programme organised by ASTRI’s FinTech Future Leader Academy. We hope all the students can apply what they have learnt and showcase their talents in the future, so as to contribute to the development of FinTech in Hong Kong.”

China Life Insurance (Overseas) Company Limited spokesperson said: “China Life (Overseas) plays an active role in FinTech development and continuously driving innovation in business model through riding on the wave of digitalization and artificial intelligence. China Life (Overseas) fully supports the ‘FinTech Future Leader Academy’ internship programme, which encourages students to have a comprehensive understanding of the FinTech business through hands-on training, and map a route to digital future.”

Mr Peter Yan, CEO of Cyberport said: “As the leading FinTech hub of Hong Kong, Cyberport is aware of the huge demand for talent in the FinTech sector from both financial institutions and start-ups. I am glad to see the ASTRI with its strong R&D expertise is offering university students opportunities to participate in FinTech projects through its Academy. It can build a solid foundation for them to join the industry.”

Dr Gabriel Leung, Managing Director, HPE, Hong Kong & Macau, said: “HPE is proud to be the supporting organisation for ASTRI’s FinTech Future Leader Academy. The programme will offer young talents to develop their technology skills and enhance their exposure to the FinTech community. We see the ASTRI as a like-minded partner for young technology talents is our future. It’s our pleasure to support the mission and be part of the programme to make it a success.”

Mr Nelson Chow, Chief Fintech Officer of the HKMA, said: “With fintech continuing to evolve at unprecedented speed, it is vital for Hong Kong to accelerate our talent development efforts to ensure that we have sufficient fintech professionals to drive the industry forward. Under our Fintech 2025 strategy, the HKMA continues to closely collaborate with various strategic partners to groom all-round fintech talent. We are very delighted to witness and support the launch of ASTRI FinTech Future Leadership Academy, which echoes our vision by equipping the financial services industry with more tech-enablers. Having established our long-standing rapport with ASTRI, we look forward to more future collaborations which will contribute to a thriving fintech sector for years to come.”

Mr Albert Wong, CEO at HKSTP, said: “FinTech is one of the key areas that HKSTP is striving to push forward. We are pleased to be one of the supporting organisations of ASTRI’s ’FinTech Future Leader Academy’, joining hands with other ecosystem partners to nurture the next generation of I&T leaders through providing comprehensive training to bright young talent. We believe talent is imperative to fuel I&T growth and Hong Kong as the world’s leading international financial centre needs to nurture more FinTech talent to propel innovations with technologies, and accelerate the development of FinTech in Hong Kong, Greater Bay Area and beyond.”
Ms Kitty Wong, General Manager, IBM Hong Kong, said: “We are delighted to participate in ASTRI‘s FinTech Future Leader Academy to help nurture talents in Hong Kong, which is crucial for the ‘FinTech 2025’ strategy and Hong Kong’s growth and development. IBM has been at the fore front of helping financial institutions in their digital transformation and providing FinTech companies with tools, technology and training programs to help them envision, build and monetize solutions. We are eager to share our insight and experience with these students, and provide inspiration for their careers in financial technology.”

Mr Fred Sheu, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Hong Kong, said: “Microsoft Hong Kong is committed to empowering our next generation with future-ready and digital skillsets to unleash their potential and be resilient in this constantly changing world. Through this meaningful collaboration with ASTRI, we hope to broaden young generations’ exposure by sharing our insights on the latest technology and inspire them to join the tech industry to continue empowering the city we live in to achieve more in the future.”

Mr Ryan Fung, Chief Executive of PAOB, said: “Fintech has brought numerous opportunities and innovative development of the financial services industry. Demand for fintech talents has been increasing at a fast pace. As the first virtual bank in Hong Kong to adopt Alternative Credit Scoring Model to achieve financial inclusion, PAOB is committed to promoting the development of fintech and nurturing talents in Hong Kong. The cooperation with ASTRI will allow us to share advice, insights and experiences with local undergraduates; and in turn support talent development and future growth of Hong Kong as an international financial centre.”

The programme is open for applications until March 14, 2022. Students selected for the programme will undertake an eight-week internship in ASTRI from June to August this year. They will be given the opportunity to participate in FinTech R&D projects, including conducting research on the issuance of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC); employing Federated Learning technology to promote alternative credit assessment; or applying Artificial Intelligence to the analysis of Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reports. Throughout the internship, ASTRI experts will provide professional guidance and share their rich R&D experience. During the internship period, students will also undertake two-week field visits to well-known institutions that support the programme, where they will learn directly from industry professionals and have the opportunity to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of FinTech on society.

The programme is open to students majoring in Engineering, Technology, Science, Computer Science, and Business & Finance, who are aspiring to join the financial services industry; able to create technological solutions; creative, open-minded and visionary; and fluent in English.

Interested students may apply for the programme online: