News story

Automation to provide better advice to people: apply for funding

Organisations can apply for a share of £150,000 to look at ways of automating updates to advice and information given to customers by Citizens Advice Scotland.

Out-of-home signage for the Citizens Advice Bureau By Savo Ilic at Shutterstock

The Citizens Advice Scotland website has more than 3,500 pages of content. The process of scanning legislation and other sources for updates is currently done manually, taking a lot of time and leaving it open to human bias and error.

Working in partnership with Innovate UK, the organisation has up to £150,000 to invest in projects that look at automating updating to thousands of pages of information and advice for the public.

A further £300,000 could be available in a second phase to develop and test up to 2 of the best ideas.

Funding is provided by the CAN DO Innovation Challenge Fund and is under the SBRI (Small Business Research Initiative) programme.

Objective advice in plain English

This competition is looking for solutions that would automatically scan for future legislation, pull content from trusted sources and create first drafts of changes to existing content.

These should support improvement over time through machine learning and use natural language techniques.

Projects should:

  • scan future UK and Scottish legislation and recognise trusted sources
  • schedule changes to content and automatically produce accurate, objective advice in plain English
  • be quicker than the manual alternative, while allowing for manual intervention
  • track content sources to provide an audit trail
  • integrate with a content management system

Competition information

  • the competition opens on 10 December 2018, and the deadline for registration is at midday on 30 January 2019
  • it is open to organisations of any size
  • we expect phase 1 project costs to be up to £30,000 and for projects to last up to 6 months. Phase 2 projects costs can be up to £250,000 and last up to 12 months
  • projects will be 100% funded
  • a briefing event will be held in Edinburgh on 9 January 2019 with more information about the competition and how to make a quality application
Published 3 December 2018