Professional & Financial Services Data Access Innovation Lab: ESG

Apply for a 3-day professional and financial services data access innovation lab to develop consortia and future projects, with up to £2m/project available in phase 2.

Opportunity Details

When

Registration Opens

26/06/2023

Registration Closes

30/08/2023

Award

Innovate UK will pay your residential and reasonable subsistence costs for the innovation lab (not travel). Other costs (e.g. care) will be considered on a case by case basis. For phase 2, up to £8m is available to fund projects based on innovation lab proposals (max £2m/project).

Organisation

ESRC
Innovate UK

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Innovate UK and ESRC (Economic and Social research Council), both part of UKRI (UK Research and Innovation), will invest up to £8 million to develop responsible data access methods in the professional (including legal and accountancy) and financial services sectors (including insurance, lending, advisory, and payment and transaction systems).

This is phase 1 of a 2 phase competition. In phase 1, individuals can apply to take part in a 3 day residential innovation lab on behalf of their organisation. The innovation lab will run from 10 to 12 October 2023. The participants will work together to develop collaborative proposals for research and innovation projects.

After the innovation lab, during phase 2 of the project, consortia will have 8 weeks to finalise their proposals before submitting them for assessment. Any project developed at the innovation lab can apply for a maximum grant of £2 million in phase 2.

Projects that emerge from the lab must focus on solutions that:

  • address Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) needs and opportunities
  • identify and develop data access methods to enable application for one or more of the sectors in scope
  • address incentives, opportunities and ongoing business models to ensure a sustainable data access approach
  • consider broader, non-technical aspects of data access methods, including ethics, human behaviour, inclusion, bias and privacy
  • To apply to attend the innovation lab, you must:

    • commit to attending and staying overnight for all 3 days (2 nights) at the UK location, which will be announced in the next few weeks
    • show you are able to work collaboratively and have the relevant skills, expertise and experience to represent your organisation
    • describe the data, finances and other resources your organisation can commit
    • be nominated to act as a representative on behalf of your organisation
    • attend on behalf of a UK based business, regulatory body, academic organisation, research and technology organisation (RTO) or charity
    • have the technical or sector expertise necessary to collaborate with other participants on developing solutions to the challenge

    In the two weeks prior to the innovation lab, we will have an online webinar to start the process of introductions and background material so that we can make best use of the limited time in the lab. Details will be released closer to the time.

    We are looking for a broad range of expertise, disciplines and backgrounds, bringing together people who would not normally work collectively. The aim is to ensure diversity of thinking, experience and expertise. We reserve the right to select participants in order to have a balanced representation at the event.

  • For phase 2, not participating in the innovation lab does not exclude organisations or individuals from joining collaborations formed during the innovation lab as partners.

    Consortia created at the innovation lab will submit their collaborative project proposals through phase 2 of this competition on the Innovation Funding Service.

    The lead applicant organisation must be a UK based business and must have attended the innovation lab.

    To be eligible to submit a final project proposal after the innovation lab each of the organisations in your project team must:

    • be a UK-based business, regulatory body, academic organisation, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
    • carry out its project work in the UK
    • intend to exploit the results from the UK

    If selected, your phase 2 project must start by 1 April 2024 and be completed by 31 March 2026

    The lead and at least one other organisation must claim funding.

  • The aim of this competition is to speed up the responsible adoption of AI and data technologies and solutions in the professional (including legal and accountancy) and financial services sectors (including insurance, lending, advisory, and payment and transaction systems) by enabling better access to data.

    The process and activities within the innovation lab may be unconventional, challenging and unexpected. By submitting an application, you are agreeing to take part fully, enthusiastically and constructively.

    Project proposals submitted after the innovation lab, must focus on solutions that:

    • address Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) needs and opportunities
    • identify and develop data access methods to enable application for one or more of the sectors in scope
    • address incentives, opportunities and ongoing business models to ensure a sustainable data access approach
    • consider broader, non-technical aspects of data access methods, including ethics, human behaviour, inclusion, bias and privacy

    Your project proposal must:

    • quantify how the solution can be exploited
    • address regulatory issues and constraints
    • evidence potential for impact
  • In phase 2, following the innovation lab, we are particularly encouraging applications that:

    • cover more than one of the listed sectors in professional and financial services
    • address sector wide needs
    • are from consortia that include all relevant stakeholders, for example regulators, users, service providers and technology providers
    • are multi-disciplinary and include social sciences as well as science and engineering
    • develop solutions benefiting underserved communities and businesses
    • are ethically appropriate and have evidenced their approaches to ensuring this

    Specific themes: ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance)

    Projects may explore:

    • increasing visibility and exploitation of new and emerging data sources in ESG
    • solutions that tackle market fragmentation around ESG reporting
    • scalable solutions for companies around non-financial reporting
    • other societal and governance opportunities

    This list is not exhaustive.

  • An online briefing event will be held on Tuesday 27th June, 10am-noon: click here to register for a place.

    Innovate UK KTN’s AI for Services network programme team will be supporting the lab.

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