News story

Developing the next generation of services: apply for funding

Organisations can apply for a share of £12 million to transform accountancy, insurance and legal services, under the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The next-generation services challenge
There is up to £12 million for projects to improve service industries through AI and data technologies.

UK Research and Innovation has up to £12 million to invest in projects that look at ways of applying artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies to improve service industries.

We are focusing on 3 specific sectors:

  • accountancy
  • insurance
  • legal services

Meeting challenges, becoming more competitive

Industries such as accountancy, insurance and legal services face competition from overseas. There are also challenges including identifying and preventing fraud, meeting audit requirements, assessing risk and reviewing large quantities of text.

AI and data technologies could help to meet these challenges and make services more efficient, productive and competitive.

This competition is part of the next-generation services challenge, a £20 million fund to develop novel products and services that will transform the UK’s services industries.

The investment is under the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. This seeks to bring together world-leading research and businesses in the UK to take on the major industrial and societal challenges of our time.

There are 2 competitions

There are 2 competitions in this area. These are for:

  • large collaborative projects addressing sector-wide challenges across supply chains or regulators
  • smaller projects looking specifically at applying AI and data techniques. Applications could be from a single business or a consortium

Projects should show how they would address challenges that could delay or adversely impact adoption. This includes issues of ethics, privacy, bias and transparency.

Themes we are particularly interested in include machine-supported decision-making, human concepts such as reasonableness and justice in AI, and combining social science with science and engineering.

Large consortia projects

  • the competition opens on 18 June 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 15 August 2018
  • projects must be led by a business, charity, public sector organisation or a research organisation and must include an SME
  • projects must cover more than one of the target service areas and include regulators, users, service providers and technology providers
  • we expect total costs to be between £2 million and £4 million and for projects to last up to 2.5 years
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs

Small projects

  • the competition opens on 18 June 2018, and the deadline for applications is at midday on 15 August 2018
  • projects should be led by a business and must include an SME. Only SMEs can work alone on a project
  • we expect total costs to be up to £400,000 and for projects to last between one and 2 years. Projects with costs of £200,000 or more must be collaborative
  • businesses could attract up to 70% of their project costs
Published 7 June 2018