Amsterdam-based ING Group and the University of Twente sign 5-year partnership to create “AI in finance”

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The University of Twente and Amsterdam-based ING Group have announced a five-year collaboration agreement to cover artificial intelligence and data science in the financial world.

The partnership was acknowledged at FinanceCom 2022, a leading-edge conference hosted by UT. This is the first time that the Netherlands has hosted an international conference on finance and fintech.

Jos van Hillegersberg, Professor of Business Information Systems at UT, says, “We in the Netherlands have been pioneering and innovating applications involving AI for quite some time. There are lots of opportunities in the financial sector. But we also ran into a problem: there’s an enormous demand for talent in the business community and academic world. Our partnership will help alleviate this shortage. The fact that ING will be actively investing in UT’s academic knowledge already says a lot.”

What to expect from this partnership?

In this alliance, final-year undergraduates, researchers, and doctoral candidates will concentrate on the use of complex datasets in the financial industry. And according to UT’s Van Hillegersberg, this may involve analysing credit risks, finding fraud, or giving investment advice to the bank’s clients. It could also involve figuring out how to employ AI for the bank’s specific clients.

Van Hillegersberg says, “Customers have to get back the feeling that they are accessing a personal service. The big banks are closing more and more of their offices and offering their customers services through a standard banking package. It’s not personalised anymore. But with AI we can change that. Some of it is already happening, but the performance of algorithms is still in its infancy. And there are many ethical and law-related issues in the financial world. What are algorithms allowed to do, and what are they not allowed to do? And who is responsible if things go wrong? In short: there’s still a lot to be done.”

Joerg Osterrieder – a data expert

One aspect of the partnership is the recent appointment of Joerg Osterrieder, who had previously worked in Switzerland, to a position at UT. Osterrieder already has more than 15 years of experience in the field of digitising the financial sector. Over the past five years, he has led more than 30 national and international research projects dedicated to quantitative, data-driven research and financial applications.

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In the past, Osterrieder served as an executive director for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, an analyst for AHL, and a member of the Credit Suisse Group’s senior management. The focus of Osterrieder’s activities is the intersection between the business community and the academic world.

Accelerating the adoption of AI

This collaboration between UT and ING Group is a part of KickStart AI, a programme supported by five major Dutch businesses to advance AI development in the country. Working together on programmes aimed at AI education, talent, and innovation are Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, NS, and Philips. 

Through KickStart AI, they have committed to supporting public-private collaborations by co-sponsoring academic positions, like the one Joerg Osterrieder is now holding at UT.

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Vishal Singh

Vishal Singh is a News Reporter and Social Media Marketing Lead at Silicon Canals. He covers developments in the European startup ecosystem and oversees the publication's social media presence. Before joining Silicon Canals, Vishal gained experience at the Indian digital media outlet Inc42, contributing to its growth with insightful content. Despite being a college dropout, his passion for writing has driven his career in journalism.

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