Requirements for the participation
The Call for Proposal 2021, which is governed by a dedicated regulation issued by the Bank of Italy, is open to any Italian or foreign subject that falls in one of the following categories (multiple subjects that belong to the same category can present a joint project);
- Fintech Hub: non-banking/financial undertakings (e.g., technology solution providers) or combinations thereof;
- Innovation Hub: banking, financial and insurance intermediaries or combinations thereof;
- Research & Development Hub: universities, research institutes, other bodies or combinations thereof.
The subjects which file an application for participating to the Milano Hub must comply with certain integrity requirements, which apply to the contact person for the project and the following individuals: (i) for limited companies or cooperatives, all the directors; (ii) for general partnerships and limited partnerships, all partners and general partners, respectively; (iii) for individual enterprises, the owner; (iv) in all other cases, the person who represents the entity. In case of foreign subjects, equivalent positions to those outlined under (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) above shall be considered, in accordance with the law applicable to the applicant
The proposed projects must comply with the following objective requirements:
- relevance: the project must be related to the areas of interest of the Milano Hub (banking, financial and insurance activities), must be consistent with the objectives of the Milano Hub and must be related to the theme of the Call for Proposal 2021 (see above);
- value of the participation: the services that the Milano Hub makes available to the projects must contribute significantly to the development of the initiative.
Filing and evaluation of the application
The applications for participating to the Milano Hub may be filed from 3 pm CEST on 27 September 2021 and no later than 3 p.m. CEST on 29 October 2021. The application, including all the requested documentation, must be filed using the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application is composed by the following documents, that must be digitally signed by the legal representative of the applicant or by the legal representatives of the applicant that make an application for a joint project:
- general data and proof of satisfaction of the objective requirements relating to the project;
- self-declaration attesting the satisfaction of the integrity requirements;
- project proposal;
- Business Plan.
The forms required for drafting the application are available on the website of the Bank of Italy.
The projects shall be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:
- Value, which includes the following sub-criteria: Systemic relevance and scalability, Innovative content, Completeness and Sustainability;
- Viability, which includes the following sub-criteria: Feasibility, Measurability and Security.
Up to a maximum of 10 projects shall be admitted to the Milano Hub, and will be divided among the three operational areas as follows:
- up to five projects for the Fintech Hub;
- up to three projects for the Innovation Hub;
- up to two projects for the Research and Development Hub
The theme of the Call for Proposal 2021, is as follows: "The contribution of artificial intelligence in improving the provision of banking, financial and payment services to businesses, households and the public administration, with a particular focus on financial inclusion, adequate consumer protection, and data security".
The Milano Hub is a place where the Bank of Italy, while acting as supervisory authority, actively supports the subjects involved in the development of innovative projects in the FinTech space, improving the quality and safety of the products that will enter the market. In particular, the Milano Hub has been established in order to achieve the following objectives:
- supporting the early adoption of digital technologies by the financial market;
- facilitating the adoption of solutions that allow an efficient risk management;
- strengthening the capability of the financial market participants to adapt to the challenges of digitization.
The Milano Hub, by supporting the development of innovative projects and the research activity on the new applications of technology to the financial industry, completes the set of tools adopted by the Bank of Italy in relation to the FinTech sector: on the one hand the Milano Hub, through which the Bank of Italy interacts with operators engaged in the development of new technological solutions for the provision of financial services, and on the other hand the regulatory sandbox (for more information on the regulatory sandbox, please see our previous Alert of 23 July 2021), which allows the experimentation of FinTech projects in a safe environment by also benefitting from tailored exemptions from the application of the ordinary regulatory provisions.
The participation to the Milano Hub, which lasts six months, with the possibility of an extension for the time strictly necessary to finalize the project (in any case, up to a maximum of additional six months), allows firms to receive support from multidisciplinary teams covering the following areas:
- expertise in the banking, financial and insurance sectors and in other specific areas (e.g., IT, legal support);
- clarification of regulations;
- organization of seminars, themed events and conferences for the applicants, institutions and academics.
The participation to the Milano Hub is free of charge.