New thoughts emerge as industry join hands with academia

Sibos, one of the biggest annual events on the financial industry calendar hosted by SWIFT, in Osaka this year, saw active participation by the SWIFT Institute with a view to promoting research in the financial industry and bridging the gap between industry and academia. Talking about the institute’s presence in Sibos, Peter Ware, Director of the SWIFT Institute, says, “By engaging with the industry academics can gain practical insights into the financial industry which can deepen their research, whilst the industry in turn can benefit from the research completed by academicis.”

Sibos is a unique forum for those working in the payments, securities, cash management and trade industries to come together and discuss, debate and take collective action. Drawing more than 6,000 participants in Osaka from across the globe, this four-day conference is unparalleled in its reputation to reach the entire financial services industry.

SWIFT Institute hosted the first ever Colloquium session at Sibos this year. At the Colloquium, Manmohan Singh, senior economist at the International Monetary Fund and Godfried De Vidts, director of European affairs at ICAP debated the pros and cons of new regulations for OTC derivatives clearing.

It would be quite unexpected to hear about the automobile industry in a conference dedicated to the financial industry. But the SWIFT Institute along with the Standards Forum, which organises sessions on standards at Sibos, decided to take an example from the non-financial world to see what lessons could be learned from another industry.

How are their standards used and applied? What would the automotive industry look like today without standards? These and other questions were discussed and debated in a panel session comprising Professor Ron Berndsen, Tilburg University and SWIFT Institute Advisory Council member, Professor Alistair Milne, Loughborough University School of Business, Akira Ohata, Senior General Manager, Toyota, and Richard Soley, Chairman and CEO, Object Management Group.

Professor Milne showed up for a second unique session brought to the Standards Forum by the SWIFT Institute, when he gave an academic lecture on the history of barcodes. Parallels were drawn with SWIFT, as Milne explained how barcodes have transformed the retail, transport and logistics industries in the same way SWIFT has transformed the financial industry.

The participation of academics at Sibos was not just restricted to speakers. Academics from universities around the world spent the week engaging with senior members of the global financial industry, and gaining industry insights through the around 200 conference sessions.

Founded in April 2012, the SWIFT Institute aims to bring together academics and practitioners to inform, debate and learn from each other. The institute plans to strengthen its presence at Sibos 2013 by hosting more sessions for the benefit of the industry and academia. “We plan to hold at least one Colloquium session next year in Dubai. The topic(s) of the Colloquium will most likely be derived from the research grants we issue, though I am open to suggestions,” said Ware. From 2013, the Institute will offer 12 grants per year for research projects targeting issues related to transaction banking.