The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) x Singapore Week of Innovation & TeCHnology (SWITCH) will expand to become the world’s first week-long round-the-clock, hybrid digital and physical event.

This announcement was made at the SFF x SWITCH 2020 Global Launch Event that was held on Monday (August 3). The event saw more than 5,500 from the financial and tech community registered to attend, comprising representatives from the public sector, financial institutions, tech companies, startups and academics.

Organised by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Enterprise Singapore (ESG), the event will provide a combined online-offline platform for the global FinTech and deep tech communities to continue to engage and connect in spite of the current challenges with international travel. 

MAS and ESG said the event will feature a hybrid experience by combining together an “online city” with various physical locations around the world, centred on businesses activities to boost sales cycles, discover partnerships and generate investments.

They elaborated that the “online city” will provide each participating organisation with a digital location where they can share and engage with participants as well as schedule one-to-one meetings. 

Exhibitors can showcase technologies in key innovation domains such as FinTech; Smart Cities and Urban Solutions; Healthcare and Biomedical Sciences; Trade and Connectivity; as well as Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and 5G. Participants will have access to networking opportunities throughout the day covering all time zones.

This is in addition to curated physical events hosted by a network of trusted in-country partners. These will provide exclusive access to industry leaders and sponsors in selected cities around the world. 

Participants can access physical events hosted in their cities to network with local government and industry leaders, learn about the country’s key government initiatives and local early-stage startups or access closed-door roundtables.

Participants will get round the-clock ‘live’ streams of curated sessions featuring leading speakers from around the world and also view sessions taking place in the physical cities. 

During selected hours, participants worldwide will see keynote speakers from different regions coming together to share their perspectives on topics such as Financial inclusion, Green technologies and Sustainability. 

The theme this year is “People and Talent”, and MAS and ESG said the event will shine a spotlight on the trailblazing pioneers who have made a difference, as well as rising stars with the potential to transform global industries. 

It will also honour individuals who have “demonstrated remarkable resilience in overcoming obstacles to create new opportunities that have significantly advanced our society.” The event will support initiatives and community activities that drive talent development, reskilling and upskilling of the finance and tech workforce.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief FinTech Officer at MAS, said, “The Singapore FinTech Festival (SFF) has been growing each year as a destination for the global FinTech community to share their knowledge, innovations and insights”. 

“This year, the extraordinary challenges brought about by the global pandemic has triggered a paradigm shift for SFF x SWITCH. We have an opportunity to redefine our approach and look towards an expanded and exciting new collaboration model. We are exploring a creative way to integrate global centres through an immersive digital engagement experience. We are confident that this approach will be able to bring together the global innovation community in spite of the current constraints in travel and meetings,” Mohanty adds.

Edwin Chow, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (Innovation & Enterprise) at Enterprise Singapore, said, “Innovation will become the key growth driver for many economies amid the challenges brought about by the global pandemic. We believe this event will continue to provide the ideal platform for innovation enablers, enterprises and startups from both Singapore and other countries to forge new global connections and make new deals.”