Government pioneers £10m fund for regulators that target public sector

New fund will back projects that will ensure rules and regulations keep pace with technological advances of the future, including the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the future of mobility.

Business Secretary Greg Clark has today announced the 15 winning bidders for the £10 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund. The fund will support bodies to help drive forward innovation in the public sector and unlock the economic opportunities of the 4 Grand Challenges set out in the government’s Industrial Strategy: AI and data, an ageing society, clean growth, and the future of mobility.

The winning projects include:

  • nearly £700,000 to regulator Ofcom for a project that uses blockchain technology to improve UK telephone number management
  • nearly £700,000 for the Solicitors Regulation Authority to support business innovations that will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to transform the legal services market for small businesses and consumers
  • up to £1 million for the Civil Aviation Authority to support a project that includes a ‘regulatory lab’ that will bring together relevant bodies to unblock legislative and regulatory barriers to innovations like flying taxis.

Commenting on the announcement, Sue Daley, Head of Cloud Computing, Data Analytics and AI at techUK, said:

“As automation and AI technologies continue to evolve and mature, building a culture of trust, confidence and accountability in these important innovations is vital. Having well informed regulators that have the capability and capacity to understand and keep pace of how these technologies are developing and being used across industries is key to building that trust. The funding announced today is hugely welcome and is another element of the UK Government’s blueprint, along with the AI sector deal, creation of the Office of AI and Centre for Data Ethics and Innovation, designed to ensure the U.K. is truly AI ready.”

The winning regulators will launch their projects this month. All applicants for the fund have been invited to join a new ‘Regulators’ Innovation Network’, set up by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to encourage the sharing of best practice and to help forge new partnerships among regulators, government and industry, to help to ensure the regulatory system encourages innovation and remains simple for businesses to comply with.

If you’d like to find out more about the fund, please contact Katherine Mayes.

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