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July 1, 2022 | Brussels, Belgium

Forty-nine researchers from all over the world participate in the WAIFC Young Academic Award 2022

A mixed jury of WAIFC leaders and professors from WAIFC member countries will select the three winners and invite them to WAIFC’s AGM in Casablanca in October.

Forty-nine researchers from all over the world participate in the WAIFC Young Academic Award 2022

A mixed jury of WAIFC leaders and professors from WAIFC member countries will select the three winners over the summer and invite them to WAIFC's Annual General Meeting in Casablanca in October. 

‘The financial sector continues to undergo rapid evolution with new technologies enabling the digitization of money, innovative trends involving artificial intelligence and DLT, and a greater focus on financing SMEs and financial inclusion. We see a long-term transition toward a sustainable financial industry, while in the short-term there is a need to support the economic recovery from the pandemic.’

Jennifer Reynolds, Chair, WAIFC Board of Directors 


Brussels, 01.07.2022 – Seeking new insights and fresh perspectives from the next generation of researchers and thought leaders, the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) launched the Young Academic Award for the first time in 2022.

Young academics submitted papers addressing the following topics:

  • The future of finance, or what will financial centers look like in 2030
  • How the financial sector can contribute to a sustainable economic recovery from the current pandemic
  • Innovations in sustainable finance and their impact on the financial industry
  • How financial centers can promote inclusive finance
  • New ways of successfully financing small and medium-sized enterprises

WAIFC has also considered papers on topics not mentioned above but relevant to the work of international financial centers.


Preliminary Results

At the deadline for the final papers on 15 June 2022, WAIFC has received 49 applications from 26 countries and 45 academic institutions. Of 49 applicants, 55% are male, and 45% are female.

39% out of 49 applications represent bachelor's students, 10% represent master's students, 39% represent Ph.D. students, and 12% represent professors/assistants to professors.

The minimum age is 20, the average is 27, and the maximum age in the applicants' group is 35.

The submitted papers focused on various up-to-date topics, including yet not limited to Sustainable Finance, Fintech, ESG, CSR, Financing of SMEs, Financial Inclusion, Tokenization Disruption, Public Finance, Sustainable Entrepreneurship, Blockchain Technology, AI Technology, The Future of Finance, and more.

Upon the evaluation of papers by WAIFC representatives, 25 out of 49 applicants were shortlisted for further assessment by the jury.

WAIFC will invite the three winners will have the unique opportunity to present their research at WAIFC's Annual General Meeting to be held in Casablanca, Morocco, in October 2022.


Commenting on the Young Academic Award and the large number of high-quality papers received, Dr. Jochen Biedermann, Managing Director of the WAIFC, stated:

"We are extremely pleased that many young scientists have participated in our competition and submitted outstanding contributions. I participated in the pre-selection and read through all the submissions. I am now eagerly awaiting our jury's decision and look forward to welcoming the three winners in Casablanca in October."



The World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC) is a non-profit association registered in Belgium, representing 19 leading international financial centers on four continents. WAIFC members are city governments, associations, and similar institutions developing and promoting their financial centers.

WAIFC facilitates cooperation between its members, the exchange of best practices, and communication with the general public.

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