SBRI: producing automated, accurate guidance

Key Features

Organisations can apply for £30,000, including VAT, to develop an automated solution that will help Citizens Advice Scotland write and update 3,500 pages of factual advice content.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £150,000

Opens: 10th Dec 2018

Closes: 6th Feb 2019

! This scheme is now closed


The aim of the competition is to develop a solution that that automates parts of the process of horizon scanning (scanning forthcoming legislation and other trusted sources for information that would result in changes to their systems) and content development.


The Citizens Advice Scotland website has over 3,500 pages of content. It takes a lot of time to keep it up to date and accurate. This content is increasingly in demand by service users.

The current horizon scanning and content development processes are done manually. They are looking for a solution that:

  • automates parts of the process
  • can quickly scan a lot of data from various sources
  • checks the information is accurate

From an initial assessment they expect the solution would have 2 functional parts:

  1. Horizon scanning and information gathering: pulling content from trusted sources, scanning for future changes to legislation, and scheduling and programming content updates.
  2. Advice writing: we would like the solution to create first drafts using rules based procedures, which should be possible as it is mostly factual, informative content.

They believe that bringing these processes together to automate factual content generation would be a new development.

To achieve this your solution must:

  • horizon scan
  • schedule changes to Citizens Advice Scotland’s content areas
  • recognise trusted and legitimate sources of content
  • automate content production to produce factually accurate, objective advice in plain and accessible English
  • learn and adapt to produce better content
  • take less effort and time to manage than developing content manually
  • operate across reserved and devolved content areas (areas subject to both UK and Scottish legislation separately, so content would need to reflect these differences).
  • track content sources to provide an audit trail
  • allow for manual intervention when required
  • interface with a content management system (CMS) to display approved content to the end user

Specific Themes

Innovate UK are encouraging applications that:

  • consider how to automate pulling information from trusted sources
  • have elements of machine learning, so the solution improves over time and requires less manual intervention
  • considers how to generate advice content using natural language generation techniques


To lead a project, you can:

  • be an organisation of any size
  • work alone or with others from business, the research base or the third sector as subcontractors

Funding Costs

Innovate UK expect projects to range in size up to total costs of £30,000, including VAT, for each organisation.

Phase 1 projects must start on 1 May 2019, end by 31 October 2019 and last up to 6 months.

Applications must have at least 50% of the contract value attributed directly and exclusively for R&D services. R&D can cover solution exploration and design.

Phase 2 involves up to 2 R&D contracts being awarded to businesses chosen from the successful phase 1 applicants.

Up to £150,000, including VAT, will be allocated for each contract, in order to develop a prototype and undertake field testing for up to 12 months.


Innovate UK will not fund front end content management system (CMS) solutions.