Calls for projects

The Chaire Fintech carries out call for research projects for Quebec universities and research centers to finance the most promising projects.

Call for projects will be carried out with respect to the multidisciplinary and inter-university Chair’s mission in the fintech ecosystem. Researchers are invited to fill out an application form.

The Chair aims to promote its studies and research results to publicize its initiatives in collaboration with the AMF, Finance Montreal, researchers, the business and corporate community as well as universities. In this regard, funded researchers will have to commit to present their results during seminars at ESG UQAM, the Fintech Station and the AMF if they are invited to do so. Moreover, research papers and reports will become Chaire Fintech’s working papers and results might be submitted on the Chair’s website to promote public accessibility.

Call for projects list:
> Fintechs and COVID 19 (application deadline: June 18th 2020)
> Quebec’s fintechs: from ecosystem development to experience, from regulation to security issues (application deadline: September 30th 2020)
> ESG criteria, digital assets use trends and regulatory framework in fintechs (application deadline: May 31st 2021)

“ESG criteria, digital assets use trends and regulatory framework in fintechs”
April 26th, 2021

The chair’s 3rd call for projects offers a financial support up to $15,000 per project submitted by a professor and $10,000 per project submitted by a student. The call for projects is targeted to (i) tenure-track professors from Quebec universities and (ii) graduate students from Quebec universities, supervised by a professor of his/her university as part of a master’s or doctoral thesis, or an essay.

The topics of interest targeted by this call for projects are grouped within three main areas:

AREA 1: ESG CRITERIA

  1. Fintechs and ESG: the integration of ESG criteria is increasingly favored in portfolios and investments
    a. Fintechs contribution to better integration and/or measurement of ESG criteria
    b. Identifications and observed trends, etc.
    c. Opportunities for Fintech firms?
  2. Fintechs and financial security issues related to access and personal data management in Quebec and Canada
  3. Cyber security: “Open Banking” risks among fintechs and “Open Banking” contribution to security and better integrated services
  4. Cyber security: assessing of the level of severity of a financial data theft
  5. Economic impact of “Open Banking” on the financial sector in Quebec/Canada
  6. Financial literacy of consumers and users on fintechs comprehension of the distinction between (a) “digital currency” technology, “crypto currency”, blockchain, etc. (b) the technology and application potential of Ether, Bitcoin, Ripple, etc.

AREA 2: DIGITAL ASSETS USE TRENDS AND EVALUATION

  1. Analysis of new trends and use of digital assets and NFTs tokenization
  2. Digital bands (neo-banks) deployment in Canada and DeFi (Decentralized Finance) evolution:
    a. Risks and opportunities for Canadian and Quebec consumers
    b. Evolution of traditional banks role in the context of DeFi progression
    c. The impact of DeFi on settlements periods, costs reductions or functionalities for consumers
    d. DeFi and their impact on consumer trust in the financial system
    e. Traditional banks’ reaction towards DeFi growth: settlements periods, costs reductions, consumer experience, etc.
  3. Central banks are suggesting their participation to digital currencies creation
    a. Digital currencies or crypto currencies: benefits and drawbacks
    b. Central banks digital currencies and collaborations between countries: will cooperation be facilitated?
  4. Use of crypto currencies and crypto assets (and NFTs) by financial products and service consumers from Quebec: motivations and potential
  5. Use of crypto currencies and crypto assets (and NFTs) by financial products and service companies from Quebec: motivations and potential
  6. Crypto currencies: scale of applications developments on different crypto currencies: Ether, Bitcoin, Ripple, etc.
    a. Applications developments of “smart contracts” and their use potential
    b. Link between developed applications and potential use of a crypto currency for buy/sell transactions or consumption of real goods
  7. Application of different evaluation models to better understand observed crypto currencies prices and their potential evolution

AREA 3: REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

  1. Bigtechs regulatory framework (Amazon, Google, Facebook, Shopify, etc.) in the financial industry: risks and opportunities for Canadian and Quebec consumers
  2. DeFi (Decentralized Finance): best approaches for a regulatory framework allowing digital assets development and security in transactions execution

For this call for projects, both research projects (e.g., literature review, summary, theoretical framework, data collection, etc.) and knowledge transfer projects (e.g., watch, monitoring, index, barometer, tool for analyzing live data, benchmark, webinar, training, website, mobile application, partnership project, etc.) will be accepted.

Launch date: April 26th, 2021
Application deadline: May 31st, 2021
Duration of research projects: research projects have to be handed over to the chair on December 31st, 2021 at latest
Allocated funds: $200,000 total with a maximum of $15,000 per project for professors and $10,000 per project for students (supervised by a professor)
Evaluation criteria: see below
Eligibility: Tenure-track professors from a Quebec university and graduate students from a Quebec university under the supervision of a professor from his/her university as part of a master’s or doctoral thesis, or an essay
Eligible expenditures: Purchase of or subscription to databases and students’ salaries. For information purpose, indirect research costs and purchase of computer equipment and hardware are NOT eligible expenditures.
Application procedure: For professors, funds will be transferred to their host university. For students, their supervising professor will have to co-sign the student’s application. Funds will be transferred to their host university in the name of the professor who will then pay the student according to the hourly rate in force at their host university.

Evaluation grid

The Chair will evaluate submitted research projects under three major criteria. The first will address the quality of the proposal (40%), the second the results relevance (40%) and the third the development and knowledge transfer (20%).

The details are presented in the following grid:

Quality of the proposal (40%)

Clarity of objectives and research relevance

Exceptional proposal: the objectives and the deliverables are comprehensive; the planned activities are highly likely to achieve the objectives and expected outcomes. The expenditures are clearly aligned with the activities and justified.
Qualitative proposal: the objectives and the deliverables are clearly defined; the planned activities are likely to achieve the objectives and expected outcomes. The expenditures are aligned with the activities and justified.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the objectives and the deliverables are not adequately defined or the planned activities are not appropriate to achieve the objectives and expected outcomes. The expenditures are not adequately justified.


Appropriateness of the identified indicators and methods for monitoring progress during the project and for assessing outcomes after the project

Exceptional proposal: indicators and methods correspond to clearly established criteria according to research best practices. They are highly effective for monitoring progress and assessing outcomes.
Qualitative proposal: indicators and methods are well defined and effective for monitoring progress and assessing outcomes.
Unsatisfactory proposal: indicators and methods are not clearly defined or are not appropriate.


Appropriateness of academic researchers’ expertise to carrying out the project and mentoring students


Exceptional proposal: the researchers’ expertise is highly appropriate and linked to the project in at least one of the following topics: artificial intelligence, chatbots, robots-advisors, cyber security, blockchain, open banking, cryptocurrencies, cryptographic assets, smart contracts, information technologies in Fintech. The principal investigator has high-level competencies to manage the project. The principal investigator has already successfully managed similar projects in the past or has clearly demonstrated the potential to do so.
Qualitative proposal: the researchers’ expertise is sufficient to carry out the project. The principal investigator has demonstrated the capabilities to manage the project.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the application does not demonstrate researchers have the necessary expertise to carry out the project or the capabilities to manage it.

Relevance of the results (40%)

Significance of the outcomes and of the impacts for the Quebec Fintech industry

● Exceptional proposal: results are of exceptional importance; they are coherent with the objectives and will have significant repercussions for the Quebec Fintech industry. The research will overcome knowledge gaps to develop new and innovative policies, standards, products or services in the Quebec Fintech industry.
Qualitative proposal: results are important; they are linked to the objectives and will have repercussions in the Quebec Fintech industry. The research will contribute to addressing knowledge gaps to develop new and innovative policies, standards, products or services in the Quebec Fintech industry.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the submission does not establish why the topic is important to the Quebec Fintech industry. The submission does not demonstrate enough how the research will help compensating knowledge gaps to develop new and innovative policies, standards, products or services in the Quebec Fintech industry.


Research originality


Exceptional proposal: the proposal demonstrates the topic will be addressed through exceptionally innovative research. It brings new coverage and innovative concepts which have not yet been studied and which have the potential to contribute to important breakthrough in the Quebec Fintech industry.
Qualitative proposal: the proposal demonstrates the topic will be addressed through original research. The research includes some concepts that may lead to an advance in the Quebec Fintech industry.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the proposal does not clearly demonstrate the topic will be addressed through original research or is not well-positioned within the state-of-art. It is not clear how the research will lead to an advance in the Quebec Fintech industry.


Results measurement


Exceptional proposal: the proposal demonstrates the topic will be addressed through exceptionally innovative research. Results measurement elements (indicators, benchmarks, etc.) are compatible with best practices and in line with the objectives. Results have the potential to contribute to important breakthrough in the Quebec Fintech industry.
Qualitative proposal: the proposal demonstrates the topic will be addressed through original and measured research. The research includes some concepts that may lead to an advance in the Quebec Fintech industry
Unsatisfactory proposal: the proposal does not clearly demonstrate the topic will be addressed through original research or is not well-positioned within the state-of-art. It is not clear how the research will lead to an advance in the Quebec Fintech industry.

Knowledge transfer and development (20%)

Knowledge transfert and outreach

● Exceptional proposal: the principal investigator in charge of the research is recognized for his/her capacity to link his/her research and the industry needs. He/she commits to presents the results to the Fintech’s industry actors and to the Chair’s stakeholders.
Qualitative proposal: the principal investigator in charge of the research commits to presents the results to the Fintech’s industry actors and to the Chair’s stakeholders.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the principal investigator in charge of the research is not recognized for his/her capacity to link his/her research and the industry needs.


Knowledge and learning experiences development


Exceptional proposal: through an exemplary environment and leading-edge approach, the project will provide an enriched experience for the students that leads to innovative and valued skills by the Fintech industry.
Qualitative proposal: the project will provide an experience for the students that leads to innovative and relevant skills for the Fintech industry.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the proposal does not adequately establish that the project will provide an enriched experience for the students or the opportunity to develop relevant skills for the Fintech industry.


Ethics and diversity

Exceptional proposal: the proposal outlines best practices that support ethics in the research project management, results and diversity.
Qualitative proposal: the proposal shows it has taken into account ethics and diversity.
Unsatisfactory proposal: the proposal does not outline ethics and diversity questions.

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