Rich Data Co and UNSW awarded Innovation Connections Grant

Awarded by the Australian Government the Innovation Connections grant allows RDC and UNSW to further explore AI capabilities in credit decisioning

SYDNEY | 18 November 2021

Rich Data Co (RDC) and one of Australia’s leading research institutions, the University of New South Wales (UNSW), have been awarded an Innovation Connections grant. Awarded by the Australian Government, the grant will facilitate a program of research to further explore applications of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in credit decisioning.

An innovative AI Powered Decisioning as a Service (DaaS) platform redefining the way credit is offered, RDC is committed to rigorous market leading research and development and is already working in partnership with key academic and research institutions, including UNSW, to ensure fair, inclusive, sustainable access to credit.

Designed to assist businesses in growth sectors with access to funding for research and innovation, the Innovation Connections grant will support RDC and UNSW to explore AI techniques in temporal pattern mining and knowledge discovery, to develop a deeper understanding of recurring revenue patterns. As AI leaders for banking, RDC will work closely with academics within UNSW’s School of Computer Science and Engineering, a world class faculty which boasts expert graduates including co-founders of global software powerhouse, Atlassian.

Outcomes from the research will allow RDC and UNSW to contribute further insights to the academic literature on AI for banking as the leaders of intelligence in this space. For RDC, the research will further the Company’s strategic objective to enhance its DaaS platform and support bank and non-bank lenders with a better understanding of the financial position of business borrowers. The research itself can be expanded to support applicable scenarios in other industries, such as understanding electricity consumption patterns to identify opportunities for efficiency enhancements in the energy sector.

The grant provides RDC and UNSW an opportunity to extend on previous research collaborations and build on already robust relationships between both teams. The collaborative engagement between education and industry will also seek to address the current industry talent shortage by fostering career pathways from academia into the private sector.

RDC Chief Data Scientist, Dr. Hendra Suryanto, said: “We are thrilled to have been awarded the Innovations Connections grant in partnership with UNSW. Like many in the RDC team, I am a UNSW alumnus and am pleased to be furthering our research with the UNSW School of Computer Science and Engineering.

With changes brought about by COVID-19 and other societal and technological developments, bank and non-bank lenders can no longer rely on traditional methods to understand behaviour and risk. To truly understand the financial position of a business, new techniques such as temporal pattern mining are required and will help predict future revenue patterns.

The Innovation Connections grant will allow us to expand our research and development capabilities, apply new insights to our platform, and also create new employment opportunities within our business and across the broader technology and financial services sectors.”

UNSW Computer Science and Engineering Faculty Senior Lecturer, Dr. Michael Bain, said: “Banks and financial institutions collect ‘big data’ which amounts to a lot of detail about their customers.  However, there is also a lot they don’t know about customers. Banking experts have considerable knowledge they can apply when making decisions on business loans or credit applications, but the algorithms currently used in fintech cannot easily incorporate that human-level knowledge.

“This research will address this important issue with new methods to quickly analyse and summarise customer behaviour over time. We focus on explainable and teachable methods which users can understand and apply to improve decision-making. This leads to a better understanding by financial institutions and more effective communication with customers about opportunities most suited for them. 

“UNSW values research collaborations with industry innovators such as RDC as it challenges researchers to validate their methods on real-world problems. Strengthening relationships between academic researchers and subject-matter specialists in industry provides wider benefits resulting from sharing of knowledge.”

The Innovations Connections grant was awarded to the parties in September and will support a 12-month R&D strategic roadmap.

Stay updated via LinkedIn.

Contribute to the discussion on the future of AI and lending