Centre for Investing Innovation

The Centre for Investing Innovation is a strategic partnership between global asset management company abrdn and the University of Edinburgh. It is addressing challenges facing the investment and asset management sector, including how to improve demonstrable societal benefit.

University of Edinburgh Centre for Investing Innovation Logo

The Centre for Investing Innovation is addressing challenges facing the investment and asset management sector, including how to improve demonstrable societal benefit. Born from academic-industry engagement, the Centre is a strategic partnership between global asset management company abrdn and the University of Edinburgh. Funded by a £7.5 million commitment from abrdn across a five-year period starting in 2022, the Centre is hosted by the Edinburgh Futures Institute (EFI) and has been co-developed with the School of Mathematics and the School of Informatics.

The research will focus across three key areas, with projects funded through co-creation activities between the University of Edinburgh and abrdn:

‘Sustainability’ considers the future trends at the forefront of differentiating outcomes associated to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors and how they continue to be embedded in investment processes. It also explores how innovative investment practices can deliver societal benefits.

‘Thematic investing’ harnesses the insights of both abrdn and the University of Edinburgh to expand the delivery of innovative future investment themes including opportunities for innovative public sector investment.

‘Innovating investing’ further guides and embeds technology, data science and artificial intelligence into investment frameworks and processes.

Multidisciplinary co-creation is at the core of the Centre, and EFI’s Data + Design Lab is a vital element of the partnership. The Data + Design Lab will bring collaborative design tools and the innovative approach that abrdn is looking for to help define challenges and scope projects for joint collaborative research.

The Centre aligns with abrdn’s corporate social responsibility aims and supports investment strategy at abrdn by leveraging world-class academic insight on the challenges and opportunities facing the company’s clients and the global investment sector. It also drives new understanding of investment-related social and environmental sustainability issues and will lead to long-term research, development and innovation, opening up new markets and opportunities that have demonstrable social impact.

Financial technology and services are a cornerstone of EFI’s research and industry engagement activities and the institute works across the University to foster collaboration with Schools and researchers. This approach supports delivery of social purpose aims and outcomes.

The Centre Director at the University of Edinburgh is Professor Sotirios Sabanis with Professor John Vines acting as Centre Co-Director. abrdn’s involvement is led by Craig Borland, Thematic Equity Research Manager.

The Centre releases regular funding calls throughout the academic year within the above themes.

For further information, please contact the Centre inbox: cii@ed.ac.uk . If you would like to discuss any of the Centre activities or calls for proposals in further detail, please contact the centre manager, Alan Kennedy.

In focus

In practice

Data-driven innovation

DDI annual review homepage

Learn how the Centre for Investing Innovation is playing a part in the ambitious Data-Driven Innovation initiative. Our Director, Sotirios Sabanis, is featured in DDI’s 2023 Annual Report.

Meet the team

Headshot of Alan Kennedy

Alan Kennedy

Manager, Centre for Investing Innovation
Headshot of Christie Hewitt

Christie Hewitt

EFI Administrative Assistant / Centre Administrator, Centre for Investing Innovation
Headshot of John Vines

John Vines

Centre Co-Director
Headshot of Sotirios Sabanis

Sotirios Sabanis

Centre Director

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