SINGAPORE - OCBC Bank has launched a postgraduate scholarship to increase its artificial intelligence (AI) talent pool, in partnership with both the National University of Singapore and the Nanyang Technological University.
The OCBC AI scholarship is the first of its kind to be offered by a company in Singapore, and the first by a bank in Asia.
It will be open to applicants from the institutions' full-time master's programme in Artificial Intelligence.
Three students will be awarded the scholarships - each worth up to $100,000 - this year. The Straits Times understands that the scholarship covers all educational and living expenses for the duration of the course.
OCBC has committed to running the scholarships for an initial three years.
Scholars will serve at the OCBC AI Lab for 12 to 18 months, where they will participate in the testing, deploying and scaling-up of bank-wide AI solutions.
Scholars will also have access to mentorship and guidance from the bank's senior executives and be offered internship opportunities.
The scholarship is part of OCBC's digital strategic framework, which is designed to harness the potential of AI to deliver greater customer value and business scalability.
Applicants are required to demonstrate a keen interest in AI, on top of excellent academic excellence and leadership qualities.
They will also be put through different forms of assessment including a coding test in which they will need to solve a problem within 24 hours, in the most creative way possible.
"We recognised the potential of AI early and have been accelerating our efforts in this space over the past five years," said Mr Ken Wong, head of OCBC's AI Lab.
"We are looking to attract and develop top talents to create new roads for us.
"Individuals who are passionately aligned with us in taking AI to the next level will be able to contribute meaningfully to help create new frontiers of banking."