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Timely predictions for financial sector

30 August, 2013

Australian companies will soon be able to make time series predictions of their financial data to within a fraction of a second, thanks to the creation of mathematical algorithms and computer systems under development at the University of Sydney.

The technologies are planned to be rolled out as part of a $56 million Financial Services Innovation Partnership (FSIP) announced recently by the Federal Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr.

The University of Sydney's Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies in conjunction with the University of Sydney Business School worked with founding partners SIRCA and Boston Consulting Group to initiate the FSIP. Thirty core partners from industry, industry bodies and tertiary institutions will be involved.

Professor Archie Johnston, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies, says the university was delighted to initiate and spearhead the research and academic components of precinct proposal.

"We predict the FSIP [Financial Services Innovation Partnership] will assist in the creation of 30,000 new jobs in financial services and financial services technology in the next five years," Professor Johnston said.

The vice-chancellor Dr Michael Spence said: "This partnership builds on existing University and industry collaboration and aims to position Australia as a global leader in 21st century financial services, innovation and technology, forging new partnerships, industry-wide development, high value jobs and export growth."

Associate Professor Philip Leong, Director of the University's Computer Engineering Laboratory that develops novel machine learning technologies, said the technology will allow companies to make time series predictions in less than a fraction of a second.

"Using custom software and hardware systems to reduce latency is critical in making timely decisions and managing large data-sets," he said.

"We will also form a prediction market which will make machine learning algorithms available to companies and provide training in new machine learning technologies."

"We envisage a world class interdisciplinary financial services exports lab that will engage 50 researchers and students focussed on financial services industry innovation and export," Professor Leong said.

The FSIP will contribute to the growth of Australia's exports in other industries by providing world-best technology and support services in institutional banking, foreign exchange and trade finance.

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