Applications are now open for the 2015 FinTech Innovation Lab, as the start-up accelerator project prepares to enter its third year.

Supported by service provider Accenture and 14 banks, the 12-week mentoring programme offers support to firms developing technology for use in the financial sector.

Six successful applicants will be partnered with senior bank executives and successful technology entrepreneurs. They will be invited to participate in workshops, panel discussions, user-group sessions, networking opportunities, one-on-one meetings and presentations. An investor day presentation in front of venture capitalist will be held on April 2015.

Previous participants have focused on a range of technologies - from security to payments and big data analytics - and have generated a combined $10 million (£5.9m) in venture funding after completing the programme.

Alumni include Waratek, BehavioSec, and Digital Shadows, which recently announced a partnership with the Bank of England to help improve UK banks' cyber defences with the creation of a security testing framework. The finalists for the second year of the project have also been announced.

The project already has the backing of banks such as Barclays, Lloyds, HSBC, RBS and Goldman Sachs. Next year's event will also see Santander and Nationwide added to the list.

"The FinTech Lab is a great way for us to support a culture of innovation and to back a new generation of entrepreneurs from across Europe," said Tony Prestedge, chief operating officer at Nationwide.

"Supporting the Innovation Lab is one of the ways we are investing in, and implementing cutting-edge technology to improve customer choice and service."

Applications are open until 14 September at

Last week, Chancellor George Osborne launched a financial technology trade body in Canary Wharf called Innovate Finance, and announced a £100 million investment in the UK's growing fintech start-up community.

A number of banks have launched their own accelerators and venture funds, including Barclays, HSBC and Santander, as they seek to improve their own technology strategies by collaborating with smaller firms.

Speaking to ComputerworldUK at last year's event in London, Citi's EMEA CIO Alistair Grant said major banks can benefit from engaging with the start-up community to help foster innovation within their business.