UKFin+ Funding Research Collaborations for Wicked Problems in Financial Services

UKFin+ is an EPSRC funded £2.5M programme of funding, whose aim is to bridge the gap that currently exists between the research in universities and the needs of the financial services industry, consumers, and regulators. Based on an inclusive, diverse and responsible research culture it will harmonize technological know-how across regions.

Financial services have undergone unprecedented technological changes in recent years. While this increasing reliance on technology brings benefits, it also leads to associated risks. Consequently, financial services face a range of wicked problems, including issues related to financial inclusion, cybersecurity, and climate finance.

UKFin+ will distribute funding to support the engagement of researchers across a wide range of disciplines to collaborate with financial organisations and relevant stakeholders to tackle “wicked” problems in financial services. The results of this research will then be shared across a nationwide network to benefit the wider fintech sector.

Central to UKFin+ is its ‘commissioning framework’, which provides the funding mechanisms for five types of collaborative projects between academia and partners: pilot project funding, larger multi-disciplinary feasibility projects, agile projects, impact projects and education/engagement projects

What is a wicked Problem?

Wicked problem‘ is a term first coined in the 1960s/70s to describe problems resistant to solutions. These wicked problems cannot be solved, only managed through working together.

Example Funding Areas:


Protection against online fraud, tackling money laundering, cybersecurity challenges in decentralised architectures, post-guantum cryptography

Financial inclusion:

Novel applications of self-sovereign decentralised platforms, statistically robust and fair credit risk assessment, and innovative human-centred approaches to identity.

Quantum computing and quantum finance:

Foundational research with the potential to dramatically impact quantitative finance, high-speed trading and data security. 

Decentralised finance:

Challenges from scalable architectures to mathematical modelling of consensus algorithms, clean-energy alternatives to conventional blockchains, regulatory approaches and security issues.

Funding Streams

UKFin+ has funding to enable collaborations between researchers and practitioners tackling wicked problems in the UK financial services sector. This funding is to be distributed through five funding streams.

Apply for funding

UKFin+ is now accepting applications for funding, please read our guidance for the best chance of having your application approved.

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