2021 G20 TechSprint

G20 TechSprint

Remarks by Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, 25 October 2021.

BIS, Innovation Hub speech  | 
25 October 2021

Governor Visco,

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to join you today at the closing event of the 2021 G20 TechSprint.

Last year, with the Saudi Presidency of the G20 we started this new worldwide initiative designed to showcase the potential for new innovative technologies to resolve operational problems in the areas of regulatory compliance (regtech) and supervision (suptech) as you have just heard from Deputy Governor Fahad Aldossari.

The G20 TechSprint is a long-form hackathon that has already proven to be a practical global forum for policy makers and technologists to collaborate on key topic areas of relevance to the regulatory and central banking community.  

The topic of this year's edition could not have been timelier. Sustainability is one of the keywords of 2021; a year when the physical risks of a changing climate have become painfully evident, as highlighted by Governor Visco in his welcome remarks.

Climate change is here to stay.

Governments need to work harder. But they cannot make it alone. The private sector will be key. First, massive new investments will be required. Second, private sector innovation, as showcased by this TechSprint, will be necessary to address pressing challenges.

Amid a rapidly growing green fintech ecosystem, the BIS Innovation Hub seeks to contribute with the development of public goods in the technology space that improve the functioning of the global financial system.

Our mission is to lead and coordinate central banks' responses to digital innovation and foster international collaboration through centres established across the globe.   

Our work is directed towards practical solutions: building proofs-of-concept and prototypes and helping our partners to harness the benefits of technology while understanding its limits.

Green finance is one key stream of our work. Within that, we have identified data and information availability and analysis as initial priorities for our green finance agenda.

Disclosure is a public good. It enables central banks, supervisors, and financial market participants to understand the environmental footprint and trajectory of firms, sovereigns and assets.

We seek to develop projects in the following areas:

  • Collecting and interpreting massive amounts of unstructured non-traditional and non-financial data;
  • Improving the quality and comparability of sustainability disclosures;
  • Increasing transparency and consistency of impact reporting;
  • Improving measurement of sustainable and responsible investment-related metrics; and
  • Scenario analysis and stress testing.

In developing our projects, we expect to work with several advanced technological solutions such as AI and ML algorithms, big data ingestion, predictive analytics and visualisation tools, blockchain, the internet-of-things, smart sensors and GPS data.

This year's G20 TechSprint has been instrumental in scanning the technological universe, helping us refine the Hub's contribution.

In fact, we have already started work on these themes through Project Genesis, launched by our Hong Kong centre. Genesis will explore the tokenisation of green bonds enabling investment in small denominations, combined with real-time tracking of environmental outputs.

Genesis prototypes combine blockchain, smart contracts, internet-of-things, and digital assets. They will allow policy makers and stakeholders to explore innovative approaches to green bond distribution and transparency.

For those interested in more details, the Genesis project team will publish its reports in the coming days, and then showcase their work during COP26.

Let me conclude.

Climate change is a global crisis that requires coordinated action by central banks and other players, both public and private. Initiatives such as the G20 TechSprint are a small but important step in that direction.

I want to thank the Italian G20 Presidency, Banca d'Italia and particularly Governor Visco and Deputy Governor Perrazzelli, for their strong support and partnership in co-hosting this year's G20 TechSprint.

A big Thank You to the eminent panel of judges and the invited experts for their support for this initiative and efforts to select the winning teams.

Finally, thank you to all the finalists for their excellent work.  

Thank you for your attention.