FinTech Scotland Launches a New AI Innovation Challenge through GCR Innovation Accelerator

Today, FinTech Scotland, working with professional services supporter Deloitte, and with Tesco Bank, Morgan Stanley and abrdn, launched a first-of-its-kind innovation challenge.

The challenge is spearheaded by the newly established Financial Regulation Innovation Lab (FRIL), funded by the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator programme and delivered by Innovate UK.

The first in a series of industry-led innovation calls, this call is looking for applications that simplify regulatory compliance through the strategic use of artificial intelligence (AI) and other emerging technologies.

The innovation challenge includes three phases: challenge definition, solution design & testing, and final demonstrations.

Applicants will receive invaluable insights about financial firms through close collaboration, a support network, academic expertise and service design support. Successful companies will receive grant awards up to £50,000 for further development and implementation.

The industry-led call to action will encourage financial institutions and innovators from across the Fintech community and beyond to learn collaboratively and facilitate industry forums to collectively share best practices for companies to develop new solutions to key financial regulatory challenges.

Nicola Anderson, CEO of FinTech Scotland, said:We are extremely excited to kick off this inaugural industry innovation challenge. Demand-led innovation calls are an important part of the toolkit that the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab will employ to drive positive outcomes. It is also an opportunity to bring together financial institutions and innovators, enabling financial institutions to learn collaboratively about ways to improve compliance processes to drive efficiency for the sector and, ultimately, increase consumer protection.”

In partnership with the University of Strathclyde and the University of Glasgow, the Lab aims to leverage expertise in financial services risk and compliance and combine this with emerging technologies to build capabilities that maintain and grow both Scotland and the UK’s position as a global leader in financial services regulatory innovation. 

Kent Mackenzie, Fintech Lead for Scotland at Deloitte said:Deloitte is excited to be one of the challenge supporters of the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab’s first innovation call. Simplifying compliance is critical to delivering change in financial services, and industry-wide solutions can help enable us to accelerate this positive change. The Lab provides a unique environment to support collaboration, and this groundbreaking initiative will further support how financial services firms are innovating to meet their regulatory obligations.

Led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation, the pilot Innovation Accelerator programme is investing £100m in 26 transformative R&D projects to accelerate the growth of three high-potential innovation clusters – Glasgow City Region, Greater Manchester and West Midlands.

Joanne Seagrave, Head of Regulatory Affairs at Tesco Bank:At Tesco Bank we embrace the opportunity that the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab’s innovation call series offers to collaborate with innovators. This will allow us to gain further insight on how utilising AI and emerging technologies could help support us in managing the evolving regulatory change landscape. It also presents a significant opportunity to advance industry understanding.

Angela Benson, Head of Glasgow Finance at Morgan Stanley: Morgan Stanley recognises the opportunity in employing AI and emerging technologies to address the industry’s global regulatory obligations. We are delighted to partner with FinTech Scotland on this innovation challenge to foster ideation and support the next generation of innovators in this space. Having opened our office in Glasgow over 20 years ago, we have seen first-hand the depth of talent Scotland has to offer.

Gareth Murphy, Chief Risk Officer at abrdn:At abrdn, we’re delighted to join the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab’s inaugural innovation call to action.  It is essential that we continue to evolve the mix of people, process and technology in all of our activities.  We draw on extensive experience in financial services, in Scotland and globally. This collaboration is a testament to our commitment to seizing the ongoing opportunities that financial services and innovation present.”

Find out more and apply on FinTech Scotland’s website.

The Innovation Challenge Call finale event will take place in April 2024.