One of IRTI's main objectives is to increase and disseminate knowledge and information on Islamic economics, banking and finance through various activities such as research and training. These constitute the core activity of IRTI. In addition to doing in-house research on various related topics, IRTI also plays a facilitating role and uses various means to create knowledge in Islamic economics and finance.

Islamic economics, banking and finance is now a discipline, which is backed by over three decades of research. Currently, it boasts of a huge body of literature dealing with multifarious themes and subthemes, such as, macroeconomic and monetary management, banking, financial instruments and markets, public finance, philanthropy, microfinance and development. These comprise research papers, articles, monographs and reference texts.

A number of universities and institutions of higher learning across the globe have introduced courses and programmes of study in Islamic economics, banking and finance. In line with development on academic and research front, Islamic finance has evolved into a growing industry, throwing up a number of issues that call for urgent scrutiny by researchers, regulators and policy makers. IRTI, as the research and consulting arm of the Islamic Development Bank Group, is mandated to undertake cutting-edge research into frontier issues in the field of Islamic economics and finance and issues relating to comprehensive human development in line with the objectives (Maqasid) of Shari‘ah.

Islamic Financial Services Industry Development Initiatives

IRTI continued its efforts in helping member countries use efficient monetary policies and in building successful partnerships and alliances with key stakeholders for the Islamic financial services industry, such as, infrastructure institutions, central banks, multilateral financial institutions, Islamic banks, other Islamic Financial institutions, universities and institutions of research and higher learning. It further strengthened its partnership with the three major Islamic financial institutions: The Islamic Financial Services Board (IFSB) for developing and putting into action its Standards; The International Islamic Financial Market (IIFM ) for development of Islamic capital markets; the General Council of Islamic Banks and Financial Institutions (CIBAFI) for human resource development for the Islamic financial services industry.

Sponsoring & Participating in Conferences & Seminars

IRTI organized a number of research conferences, seminars and forums on Islamic economics, banking and finance in Member and Non-Member Countries. The objective of organizing these events is to encourage the researcher to write on various issues of Islamic economics, banking and finance and to spread awareness worldwide concerning their importance, viability and stability. Another objective is to expand the frontiers of knowledge by focusing on specific themes and sub-themes in the area of Islamic economics, banking and finance and produce literature to be published and widely disseminated.

IRTI Journal

Islamic Economic Studies (IES) is published biannually, in Muharram and Rajab, according to the Islamic calendar. Islamic Economic Studies is a refereed journal that maintains high academic standards. It is included in the Abstracting Services CD-ROM indexing of the Journal of Economic Literature published by the American Economic Association.

Knowledge Promotion and Encouragement

IRTI has been actively promoting research in the field of Islamic economics, banking and finance
through a range of programmes, such as, scholarships, research grants, textbook grants, visiting scholar programmes and the IDB Prize in Islamic economics, banking and finance.

IRTI Scholarship

IRTI re-launch its worldwide scholarship for postgraduate students doing Master and Doctorate studies in the field of Islamic economics, banking and finance, in order to encourage them to participate in the promotion and dissemination of the subjects. IRTI scholarship program is not restricted to applicants from Member Countries but is open to the entire global student community. Information about the program has been widely disseminated among the global student and researcher community through various means.

IRTI Research Grant

IRTI launched a new Research Grant Scheme for Non-Student Researchers, in order to encourage them to participate in the promotion and dissemination of Islamic economics, banking and finance. IRTI allocated a budget of US$100,000 per annum for this purpose, which translates into 10 Grants of US$10,000 each per annum. Information about the program has been widely disseminated among the global researcher community through various means.

Visiting Scholars

This program aims at promoting such academic activities and efforts that are considered essential for the achievement of the objectives of the Bank and IRTI, through encouraging innovative research by external scholars, researchers and institutions in Islamic economics, banking, finance and related areas.

IDB Prize for Islamic Economics, Banking & Finance

Every year IRTI coordinates the award of IDB Prize in Islamic Economics / Islamic Banking & Finance. This international award, which alternates between the fields of Islamic economics and Islamic banking and finance was instituted in 1408H (1988) with the objective of recognizing, rewarding and encouraging creative efforts of outstanding merit in the fields of Islamic economics, banking and finance. Since then, 32 personalities and institutions have been awarded this Prize. The Prize includes a citation acknowledging the contribution of the Prize Winner and a cash award of Islamic Dinars 30,000 (approximately US$ 40,000).

IRTI is responsible for the implementation of IDB Prize, which is administered by multiple committees involving a substantial number of external scholars. The Selection Committee, in particular, is composed of five eminent scholars and persons drawn from the different IDB member countries in addition to the Director General of IRTI and the Director of the Economic Research and Policy Department of IDB. The IDB Prize in Islamic banking for the year 1431H was awarded to the eminent scholar Dr. Rifaat Abdelkarim from Sudan.

Solidarity Prize for the Promotion of Trade Among OIC Member Countries

In order to promote trade among member countries, the IDB Group has established a Waqf Fund to support the “IDB Islamic Solidarity Prize for the Promotion of Trade among OIC Member Countries? which is awarded annually. The first prize was implemented in 1428H and awarded to Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation (MATRADE). The second in 1430H, went to IGEME, Export Promotion Centre, Turkey and the third one in 1431 went to the Saudi Export Promotion Centre, Saudi Arabia.