Transforming accountancy, insurance and legal services with AI and data (large consortia strand)

Key Features

UK businesses and research organisations can apply for a share of £12 million from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund. This is to develop AI and data enabled products and services within accountancy, insurance and legal services.

Programme:     Innovate UK

Award:     Share of up to £12 million

Opens: 18th Jun 2018

Closes: 15th Aug 2018

! This scheme is now closed


UK Research and Innovation will invest up to £12 million in innovation projects to support the application of artificial intelligence (AI) and data technologies. Projects should aim to transform the 3 target sectors:

  1. Accountancy
  2. Insurance
  3. Legal services

These are sectors where there is an imminent threat from overseas competition.


The aim of this competition is to speed up the responsible adoption of AI and data technologies and solutions to transform the accountancy, insurance and legal services sectors.

Examples of sector-wide challenges include:

  1. Fraud identification, prevention and mitigation
  2. Continuous audit or achieving statutory audit requirements in more comprehensive ways
  3. Risk assessment, management and pricing including identification of new signals from novel data sources
  4. Conveyancing
  5. Automatic review of large quantities of text documents to deliver new insights or new information

Your project needs to include the following:

  • clear consideration of end user experience and design
  • the development of new approaches and solutions in the use of data and AI for the 3 target services sectors
  • a clear description of how you will take the product to the marketplace
  • consideration of broader, non-technical aspects that adoption of AI and use of data bring, including ethics, bias, privacy, transparency

Your project can focus on industrial research or experimental development.


Innovate UK will not fund projects that do not address:

  • accountancy, insurance or legal services
  • sector wide needs and benefits


Innovate UK are particularly encouraging applications that:

  • cover more than one of the 3 target service sectors
  • address broad sector-wide needs
  • are from consortia that include all relevant stakeholders, for example regulators, users, service providers and technology providers
  • are for solutions that address the “black-box challenge” of AI and bring transparency to machine supported decisions
  • offer solutions that address human concepts such as ’reasonableness’ and ‘justice’ when using AI
  • are for projects that are multi-disciplinary and include social science as well as science and engineering


To be eligible for funding you must:

  • be a UK based business, academic, charity, public sector organisation or research and technology organisation (RTO)
  • work in collaboration with one or more organisations
  • carry out your project work in the UK
  • intend to exploit the results from the UK

All projects must include an SME.

Project Costs

Total project costs should be between £2 million and £4 million, and projects should last up to 2.5 years. Projects should plan to start by 1 December 2018 and all projects must complete by 31 March 2021.

Innovate UK are expecting to fund between £8 million and £10 million of grants in this strand. Innovate UK reserve the right to manage budgets between the 2 strands to ensure a balanced programme.

For industrial research projects, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 70% if you are a small business
  • up to 60% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 50% if you are a large business

For experimental development projects which are nearer to market, you could get funding for your eligible project costs of:

  • up to 45% if you are a small business
  • up to 35% if you are a medium-sized business
  • up to 25% if you are a large business