Stevens to lead first NSF center dedicated to fintech, science

The five-year award will establish a center focused on research partnerships relevant to the fintech industry with the goal of finding solutions to complex challenges. Some of the initial areas the IUCRC will focus on will be cybersecurity, high-frequency automated markets, technology risk and regulation, commercialization and applications of blockchain, quantum computing, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence.

“I couldn’t be more excited to have Stevens play such an important leadership role in an NSF IUCRC center,” Gregory Prastacos, dean of the Business School at Stevens, said. “The IUCRC will not only help us bring our work to the companies that would benefit from these insights, it also gives us another channel to engage industry and better understand the unique challenges they face.”

Hoboken-based Stevens is the lead institution for the center, which includes Georgetown University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and between eight and 25 other firms.

“Georgetown and RPI complement our strengths very nicely,” George Calhoun, director of the Hanlon Financial Systems Center at Stevens School of Business and a co-principal investigator on the project, said. “Georgetown is good in traditional finance and the regulatory end of the business — what is the Federal Reserve going to do, what is the Treasury going to do — in ways that reflect their own location advantage. And RPI brings additional scientific and technological capabilities to the table.”

The list of firms who provided letters of  support as part of Stevens bid included: UBS, Bank of America, Citibank, Royal Bank of Canada, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Group, PSEG, OneMarketData and Capco.

“The reason we were successful is that we showed we would have major industry participation,” Calhoun said.