About the Network

UKFin Network +


Funding Research Collaborations for Wicked Problems in Financial Services

The UKFin+ network’s mission is to bridge the gap that currently exists between the research in universities and the needs of the financial services industry, its consumers and regulators. We work with industry, regulators and non-profits to define challenges, to connect them to academics and researchers, and to co-define projects that address these.

The goal of UKFin+ is to create a community of researchers, innovators, regulators, and practitioners that sustains beyond our initial funding, and are actively collaborating to create more competitive, trusted and socially relevant financial services which are underpinned by responsibly designed, implemented and adopted technologies.

UKFin+ is especially interested in the ‘Wicked’ problems of financial services and digital technology. Wicked problems are complex and interdependent and resist singular solutions. Our society is filled with many such problems which involve financial services, such as financial inclusion, climate change and transitions to net zero, cybersecurity for vulnerable populations, governance and prediction of economic markets, amongst many others. Wicked problems like these need multiple responses and for people to collaborate across sectors and disciplines.

Central to UKFin+ are our funding streams, which provides the funding for five types of collaborative projects between academia and partners:

  • Agile projects which are small, short and highly focused pieces of work that are exploratory in manner e.g. horizon scanning, population survey, expert interviews, rapid testing of an early stage prototype.
  • Pilot project funding which aims to trial technological, mathematical and engineering solutions for challenges in financial services, or to test an idea or concept.
  • Feasibility projects, which are larger multi-disciplinary projects that may build on the Agile or Pilot projects, and look towards the implementation and adoption of these in real-world settings.
  • Impact projects to take completed research and translate this to practice – e.g., to influence policymakers, or initiate commercialisation.
  • Education and engagement projects that support the growth of the financial services talent pool.

UKFin+ is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and is committed to supporting highly innovative and groundbreaking research, the outcomes of which will be seen at a national level.

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