UKFin+ Bristol Collaboration Workshop

Reflecting on a Day of Collaboration: Highlights from the UKFin+ Workshop in Bristol

The first of our UKFin+ Collaboration workshops took place on March 6th at the MShed in Bristol. UKFin+ Director Professor Jing (Maggie) Chen was the mastermind behind the new format for the workshop and we were all thrilled with the turnout.

The workshop provided an opportunity for industry and charitable organisations to communicate directly with academics about real-life problems they are seeking to solve based around three themes:

  • Personal finance/wealth management
  • Payments, lending and insurance
  • Financial inclusion

A brief overview of the UKFin+ project and funding opportunities gave attendees an indication of the kind of projects and challenges that can apply for UKFin+ funding.

The event was a resounding success, it was brilliant to see so many engaging conversations and invaluable connections forged between industry, charity partners, and academia. Your presence and engagement made it a thoroughly enriching experience for all involved.

John Cartlidge from the University of Bristol co-hosted the event, speaking about the fintech talent pipeline and bringing UKFin+ to the attention of many academics in the region. The event was also co-hosted by FinTech West, Stuart Harrison joined us to open the event and facilitated connections with industry and charity partners.
At the event, we had 3 companies ready to share their problem statements with the room and get the ball rolling with collaboration discussions. They did a brilliant job of facilitating meaningful conversations about the potential for collaboration between industry and academia. Nationwide’s Matthew Jones brought a wealth of knowledge on their work on GenAI and the challenges that come with how we validate, test and monitor the use of large language models. Andy Dyer from LexisNexis spoke through a very interesting example of how credit scores fit into financial inclusion. Maria Berryman from Babbasa shared a fascinating challenge faced by community interest companies in managing their income and reporting to multiple funders.
We were so pleased so many industry partners were willing to stand up and speak about challenges they were facing during our ‘open mic’. A wide range of companies were represented from banks to start ups and this was hugely beneficial for our roundtable discussions which followed.

Topics of discussion included (but were not limited to):

  • How to manage AI risks without stifling innovation
  • How Fintech industry can get rapid access to open financing
  • How to develop alternative creditworthy metrics
  • How to enable free financial education

The team very much hopes to see some of your conversations turn into brilliant funding applications, and the connections made will become a strong network of experts from industry, charity and academia in fintech.
Thank you again to everyone who attended, your engagement made for a lively and rewarding day for everyone. We hope you enjoyed the workshop and that it was as energising for all of you as it was for us!

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