Although Malaysia is a leader in Islamic finance research, very few of the research papers published have translated into feasible innovations, until recently. To help push the sector forward and bring the research and ideas to fruition, International Centre for Education in Islamic Finance, with the support of Bank Negara Malaysia, the Association of Islamic Banking Institutions Malaysia and the Malaysian Takaful Association, recently held the Islamic Finance InnoFest 2016. For this festival, INCEIF accepted idea submissions from all over the world, including Japan, Australia and Pakistan, to promote inclusiveness.
“We believe that to really push for innovation, we cannot be stuck in a silo. That is why it is not limited to only Malaysians,” says Associate Professor Dr Baharom Abdul Hamid, director at INCEIF’s Centre of Research and Publication and InnoFest chairman.
He says the event acts as a platform for the participants to meet their potential partners and clients to discuss commercialisation. “Instead of the usual paper presentations, the participants pitched their innovative ideas on stage and explained how applicable they are in the real world. The judges were all subject matter experts. They included Dr Siti Muawanah Lajis from Bank Negara, Azli Munani from Malaysian Takaful Association and Raja Teh Maimunah from Hong Leong Islamic Bank Bhd.”
The categories involved were the Islamic capital market, fintech in Islamic finance, takaful and retakaful, Islamic banking, risk management and Islamic finance solutions and processes.