Deans Report CRAFT

CRAFT logo

To further advance our work in finance, analytics and fintech, Stevens was recently awarded by the National Science Foundation a grant to establish, together with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the first-ever IndustryUniversity Collaborative Research Center on financial technologies. The Center for Research Toward Advancing Financial Technologies, or CRAFT, underscores the nation’s strategic investment in managing risks and unintended consequences of the emerging – and yet unknown – challenges facing the hightech financial services industry.

Already 16 companies have become members of CRAFT and are supporting its research projects. These companies include major financial organizations, like Bank of America, CME, Goldman Sachs, SWIFT, UBS, The Vanguard Group; technology and consulting firms, like Capgemini, IBM; and more. They are funding projects in areas of the focus of CRAFT, which include Cybersecurity, Applications of Machine Learning and AI in finance, Cryptocurrency and Blockchain technology, Smart contracts, Quantum computing, and more. At the same time, CRAFT is working to increase the number of member companies, and a number of universities are actively seeking to join CRAFT as university partners. As advanced technologies are rapidly shaping financial services and systems and impacting society at-large, commitment from industry partners and policy makers will help drive innovation in fintech, address the challenges impacting the fintech industry and help develop a diverse, exceptionally skilled high-tech workforce.

Led by Stevens, CRAFT is aiming to be a world-class hub of research, attracting top researchers and students, addressing the most important problems in finance and technology, and raising even further the reputation of the school and of Stevens.

Annie DeStefanoSPOTLIGHT:
Annie DeStefano '12
Vice President of Fintech, Silicon Valley Bank

Startups face unique challenges coming out of a pandemic, especially in a digital-first world. At SVB, Annie meets founders, management teams and venture capitalists to better understand how the bank can help solve those challenges: "We sit at the middle of the innovation economy, and it’s incredible to experience the amount of change taking place in fintech."