The Financial Regulation Innovation Lab

Innovation Call

Shaping the Future of ESG in Financial Services

Applications open June 13

Some applicants might be eligible for a grant award. More information about grant eligibility can be found in our FAQs.


Join Us to Shape the Future of ESG Innovation and Regulation

We are looking for companies with creative ideas and new solutions dedicated to helping financial services companies with their ESG regulatory commitments.

You will get the opportunity to work with ten financial services industry partners on the future of ESG regulation. Our partners are EY, Morgan Stanley, LBG, HSBC, Barclays, Sopra Steria, Phoenix, abrdn, Equifax and Virgin Money.

A number of Grant Awards of up to £50,000 will be available to selected Innovation Call winners to develop your propositions.

We welcome applications that demonstrate solutions that save time and effort, improve ESG reporting, lead to cost savings and better consumer outcomes.

Working together with a number of leading Financial Services firms we have identified key challenges and opportunities for proposition and product development that will help our Financial Services partners deliver their ESG obligations

We welcome applications from all companies, at all stages of development, that can help tackle these challenges.

Here are some examples of some of the challenges faced by industry. If you have a solution that uses AI or new emerging technologies to address ESG regulatory requirements we want to hear from you.

Our ten industry partners have shared with us seven challenge statements to support the development of your solutions.

ESG Data and Analytics

ESG Regulatory Requirements Scoping

Digital Sustainability

Keeping up with Climate Science

Enhancing Decision-Making through Advanced Information Acquisition

Improving Quality Assurance and Anomaly Detection

Enhancing Transparency and Accessibility of Business Information

Read more about our use cases

What will I get if I'm selected?

Work alongside some of the leading financial services firms in the UK

Learn from them about their challenges, their ways of working and how to best integrate your solutions within their businesses.

You may be eligible for a grant award up to £50,000 to develop your solution further.

Whether it’s tools for colleagues, analysis of data or the development of new functionalities, this could help you advance your proposition.

Deepen your understanding of ESG regulatory obligations.

Learn what financial services are exploring for ESG regulatory innovation and beyond and how this may vary across our industry partners.

Access information and insights from our industry partners.

Access support and inputs from our industry partners to help develop your solution.


The innovation call will run for 3 months.
Here are the key dates

13 June

Application window opens

7 July

Application window closes

Week commencing 8 July

Successful applicants notified

25 July

FRIL ESG Innovation Kick Off In-Person Event in Glasgow

5-9 August

Week of virtual events

10 September

Showcase and Pitch In Person Event in Glasgow


Innovation call outcomes announced


We are organising two Q&A sessions if you have questions before applying:

18 June  – Register here

25 June  – Register here

In Partnership with


Frequently Asked Questions

Who are FinTech Scotland?

Learn about FinTech Scotland here.

What is the Financial Regulation Innovation Lab?

The Financial Regulation Innovation Lab (FRIL) is an industry-led collaborative research and innovation programme focused on leveraging new technologies to respond to, shape and help evolve the future regulatory landscape in the UK and globally. Helping to create new employment and business opportunities, and enabling future talent.

FRIL is a partnership between FinTech Scotland, a cluster management organisation that encourages innovation and collaboration within the financial services sector, and the University of Strathclyde (UoS) and the University of Glasgow (UoG).

FRIL will deliver four workstreams to support this: actionable research, innovation calls, skills and education, and knowledge exchange.

Funded by the Glasgow City Region Innovation Accelerator programme (led by Innovate UK on behalf of UK Research and Innovation), FRIL will deliver this wide-ranging and ambitious agenda led by, and for the use of, the financial sector.

FRIL provides an environment for participants to engage and collaborate on the dynamic demands of financial regulation. This will allow them to explore, test and experiment with new technologies, build confidence in solutions and demonstrate their ability to meet regulatory standards worldwide.

How does the award funding work?

 To be eligible to receive the award funding the award money must be used to drive forward innovation in the UK with a focus on Scotland. Companies who do not meet these criteria can participate in the Innovation Call with potential benefits from engagement and exposure but will not be eligible for Grant funding.

The award funding is provided through the University of Strathclyde.

For the full guidance and eligibility criteria click here

Please contact if you have any queries relating to this.

Is there a registration fee or any cost associated with participating?

No, there are no registration fees and no direct costs to participate. Travel to Glasgow will be required for events, travel costs will not be re-imbursed.

Can I submit multiple entries or proposals?

If your company would like to respond to more than one innovation challenge you are welcome to submit individual application forms for each.

How are winners selected?

An assessment panel has been made up of industry representatives, fintech experts and academics. The panel will judge the information in the applications and the pitches based on assessment criteria and will make a collective decision.

Will my intellectual property be protected during the innovation call?

All IP will remain under your ownership. The call invites you to present your proposition to the judges in as much detail as you feel comfortable with.

Can I seek external funding or investment for my idea during or after the challenge?

FRIL has a requirement to ensure that any secondary funding remains compliant with the Minimal Financial Assistance (MFA) rules of the UK’s Subsidy Control Framework. MFA has a financial threshold so no recipient can receive more than £315,000 over a rolling 3 financial year period.

If you have received more than £315,000 of public funding in the last 3 years you will not be eligible for funding.

Please contact if you have any queries relating to this.

Will there be any opportunities for networking with industry experts or potential investors?

Yes, FinTech Scotland has a broad partner network of academia, industry and investors. Opportunities could be as broad and as varied as pitching to the assessment panel made up of relevant industry experts, presenting at FinTech Scotland events and introductions to other relevant businesses ranging from SMEs and large enterprises.

Can I participate in the challenge if I am not from Scotland?

We would be delighted for any business to apply for this challenge.

One aim of the FRIL is to stimulate fintech and financial services activity in Scotland. As such it is a requirement that the funding is spent on activities that can indicate what benefits any proposal may be expected to produce for Scotland with a focus on Glasgow.

Please outline in your submission how your application meets this requirement if you want to be considered for an award.

Can I download the application form?

Should you prefer to download the application form, please download here and send to by 7th July

I have a question that is not included above, who should I contact?

Please contact