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The DIGITAL FINANCE Pathway to Industry and Academia

Charting the Future of Finance

What is MSCA Digital Finance?

We are an Industrial Doctoral Network established within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions which aims at training highly skilled doctoral candidates in Digital Finance. 

What is a MSCA Doctoral Network?


DIGITAL will specifically train young researchers in R&D topics that cover the multiple disciplines required in the rapidly evolving field of Digital Finance substantially going beyond the traditional Finance PhD education in a wide range of inter-sectoral applications: data quality, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), Explainability of AI (XAI), Blockchain applications and Sustainable Finance.

Start: 01 January 2024

End: 31 December 2027

Budget: EUR 4,473,972

Objective: MSCA Digital Finance aims to integrate advanced research and training in the field of digital finance. The primary goal is to foster the development of next-generation researchers and professionals who can contribute significantly to the digital finance sector. This initiative is designed to bridge the gap between academia and industry, ensuring that PhD candidates are well-equipped with both theoretical knowledge and practical skills relevant to the rapidly evolving digital finance landscape.

Funding and Support: The program receives substantial funding from the European Horizon framework, underscoring the EU's commitment to advancing research and innovation in digital finance. This financial support is instrumental in facilitating collaborative research, offering scholarships, and providing state-of-the-art resources and opportunities for participants.


Collaborative Network: The MSCA Digital Finance brings together a diverse network of academic institutions, research centers, and industry partners across Europe. This collaboration ensures a multidisciplinary approach and allows for a wide array of research topics within digital finance.

Impact and Benefits: The program is designed to produce a significant impact on both the academic and industrial sectors in digital finance. Graduates of MSCA Digital Finance are expected to emerge as leaders and innovators, driving forward the digital transformation in the financial industry, enhancing the competitiveness of the European digital finance sector on a global scale.

Who Are We?

DIGITAL brings together a consortium of leading European universities, major international corporations with significant R&D presence, innovative SMEs, renowned research centers, and governmental agencies. Our goal is to foster collaboration and innovation among its diverse members, aiming to advance knowledge, technology and solutions.

Research Topics & Individual Research Project

Currently, Digital Finance lacks recognition as an independent research field, despite numerous research voids, alignment with the EU's core strategic goals, and pressing industry demands. DIGITAL aims to address this gap and notably enhance Digital Finance methodologies and business models by pursuing five interconnected and cohesive research objectives.

  • Towards a European Financial Data Space (WP1)
    IRP6 - Collaborative learning across data silos IRP8 - Detecting anomalies and dependence structures in high dimensional, high frequency financial data IRP13 - Predicting financial trends using text mining and NLP IRP15 - Deep Generation of Financial Time Series Page site
  • Artificial Intelligence for Financial Markets (WP2)
    IRP12 - Developing industry-ready automated trading systems to conduct EcoFin analysis using deep learning algorithms IRP14 - Challenges and opportunities for the uptaking of technological development by industry Page site
  • Towards explainable and fair AI-generated decisions (WP3)
    IRP1 - Strengthening European financial service providers through applicable reinforcement learning IRP9 - Audience-dependent explanations IRP16 - Investigating the utility of classical XAI methods in financial time series IRP17 - Fair Algorithmic Design and Portfolio Optimization under Sustainability Concerns Page site
  • Driving digital innovations with Blockchain applications (WP4)
    IRP3 - Industry standard for blockchain IRP5 - Fraud detection in financial networks IRP7 - Risk index for cryptos Page site
  • Sustainability of Digital Finance (WP5)
    IRP2 - Modelling green credit scores for a network of retail and business clients IRP4 - A recommender system to re-orient investments towards more sustainable technologies and businesses IRP10 - Experimenting with Green AI to reduce processing time and contributes to creating a low-carbon economy IRP11 - Applications of Agent-based Models (ABM) to analyse finance growth in a sustainable manner over a long-term period Page site

DIGITAL will hire a total of 19 doctoral candidates, each will tackle one specific research project from the outlined research topics. 


Doctoral candidates will receive extensive training under four distinct pillars.


Training through Research and Mandatory Scientific Training.

This includes original research within individual research projects, and each researcher being required to complete five foundational courses. 


Advanced Scientific Training.

Researchers will select at least three elective advanced courses, relevant to their experience, individual research projects and career plans. 


Transferable Skills Training.

A tailored program focusing on transferable skills, primarily carried out through joint industry-academia courses


Training through Secondments.

Each researcher will spend 18 months at leading institutions and in the industry to gain practical experience 


The DIGITAL program offers unique and enriching secondment opportunities for all doctoral candidates, ensuring a well-rounded academic and applied experience.

Each candidate will dedicate 18 months to the non-academic sector, engaging themselves in a hands-on, real-world environment. This direct involvement in industry will help them bridge the gap between industry and academia.

Each candidate will also spend 4 months at a research centre and/or a government agency. This part of the program aims to give participants firsthand experience with the latest research and policy-making processes.

This combination of industry and research experience ensures that our doctoral candidates are not only well-versed in theoretical knowledge but also gain practical, real-world experience that is essential in today’s dynamic work environment.


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or Horizon Europe: Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them. This project has received funding from the Horizon Europe research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Grant Agreement No. 101119635

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