University's £1.8m grant to accelerate AI adoption across professional services

By Tim Aldred

07 Jul 2023

Martin Spring of LUMS

Lancaster University Management School has been awarded a £1.8m grant to accelerate the take up of digital technology amongst UK law and accountancy firms.

The research project, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and Innovate UK, will be known as Technology in Professional Services (TiPS). 

It will build on an earlier study which enabled the university's researchers to understand the barriers preventing professional services firms from adopting digital technology and artificial intelligence (AI).

The accelerator is part of a programme called Next Generation Professional and Financial Services, funded by Innovate UK and ESRC. The programme aims to help professional service sectors, including accounting and law, and the financial service sectors, including insurance, lending, advisory and payment services, develop and use digital technologies.

The grant will allow the research team to put this previous learning into action; providing practical, tailored support to help medium-sized and smaller firms become more productive, develop new services, and to use technology to make services accessible to under-represented individuals and organisations. The research will also provide more general insights into how various forms of innovation adoption can best be accelerated.

The service industry represents almost 80 per cent of the UK economy. Financial and professional services account for around £190bn of the UK’s Gross Value Added and provide in the region of 2.2 million jobs.

However, while digital innovation - and specifically the use of technologies based on AI - promises to unlock yet more value within these UK professions, there are a number of barriers to small and medium sized firms taking on new technologies. 

Prof Martin Spring said: “Our research tells us that these challenges sometimes arise from uncertainty about which technology to use and what benefit it would bring, but also due to the traditional roles and identities of professionals working in these sectors. Traditional education, training, regulation and career structures also present barriers when it comes to adopting new technologies.

“With this grant, we will be able to translate our earlier findings into tangible support, to help firms overcome adoption obstacles and harness new technology to help their staff and enhance the services they provide.

"This major project will provide structured methods and useful resources to help guide law and accountancy firms to overcome any barriers, accelerate their technology adoption and ultimately become more competitive. And the project is especially timely due to the recent interest in technologies such as ChatGPT, which has stimulated awareness of the potential for technologies to be used in knowledge-based work such as law and accountancy.”

By creating an environment where technology adoption is less intimidating and risky, the project aims to guide firms to find the right technological solutions for them. By building confidence in professional firm leaders to embed innovative technologies into workplaces, firms will be able to unlock more potential and further enhance the service provided to customers. 

Adopting an inclusive approach, the project will cater for firms at different stages of technology readiness - from beginners to those who already use some technology, but would like to extend its use. Depending on the starting point of the firm, three types of ‘acceleration’ and support will be offered. The methods used will be based on the well-established Innovation Catalyst approach developed at Lancaster.

By working closely with each of the firms and assessing their issues and outcomes, the researchers aim to gather insights into the most successful methods and create ‘roadmaps’ to share more widely for the benefit of the wider sector, working with a range of stakeholders including professional bodies such as the Law Society and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA). 

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

Latest news

1

Blackpool approves plans for pair of apartment complexes New South Promenade Apartments Visuals

Blackpool approves plans for pair of apartment complexes

12 Apr 2024

2

Distinguished engineer takes senior role at Lancaster University Rebecca Lingwood

Distinguished engineer takes senior role at Lancaster University

11 Apr 2024

3

International building supplies firm to open new plant in Preston New Kerakoll Group Premises Visuals

International building supplies firm to open new plant in Preston

11 Apr 2024

4

Case Study: RfM Transform and Belgravia Décor HR Trends from RfM Transform (13).png.png

Case Study: RfM Transform and Belgravia Décor

12 Apr 2024

5

Lustalux helps with the £21m refurbishment of Printworks Manchester pw-sign-manchester.jpg.jpg

Lustalux helps with the £21m refurbishment of Printworks Manchester

12 Apr 2024

Hwc 2024 Email Signature 980x120
Background image for hub sign up block

LBV Hub

Reach 50,000 members of the Lancashire business community

Post your news
Post your events
Post your offers
Company profile
Social reach
Magazine coverage
Sign-up
Events
Health and Wellbeing Conference 2024
Hwc 2024 Social Media 1200px 1
Networking
23 Apr 2024

Health and Wellbeing Conference 2024

Crow Wood Hotel, Burnley , BB12 0RT

08:30 - 13:00

Help to Grow Management Course
HTG2.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
15 Apr 2024 - 17 Jul 2024

Help to Grow Management Course

Preston Campus , Preston , PR1 2HE

09:30 - 14:00

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour
EVENT LISTING SIZING Endeavour.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Chorley - BNI Endeavour

Oak Royal, Bury Lane, Chorley, PR6 8SW

06:30 - 08:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista
EVENT LISTING SIZING Vista.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
16 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Vista

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network
EVENT LISTING Eden Business Network.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
17 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Lancaster - Eden Business Network

The Borough, 3 Dalton Square, Lancaster, LA1 1PP

18:30 - 20:30

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus
EVENT LISTING SIZING Zeus.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
17 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Accrington - BNI Zeus

The Mill House, Corn Mill Yard, Accrington, BB5 5HX

06:45 - 08:30

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond
EVENT LISTING BNI Diamond.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
17 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Preston - BNI Diamond

The Marriot Hotel, Garstang Road, Broughton, PR3 5JB

07:15 - 09:00

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos
EVENT LISTING BNI Kudos.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
18 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Burnley - BNI Kudos

Prairie Sports Village, Windemere Avenue, Burnley, BB10 2FU

06:45 - 08:30

Cyber Secure 360: Safeguarding Your Digital World
CyberSecure 360 LBV-32.png.png
LBV Hub Seminars
18 Apr 2024 - 18 Apr 2024

Cyber Secure 360: Safeguarding Your Digital World

Accrington Stanley, Accrington, BB5 5BX

08:30 - 12:00

Business Networking in Preston- BNI Brunch
EVENT LISTING SIZING Brunch .png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Preston- BNI Brunch

Samlesbury Preston Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL

09:30 - 11:00

The Pro Club
Untitled design (6).png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

The Pro Club

Fraser House, Lancaster, LA1 4XQ

09:30 - 12:30

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity
EVENT LISTING BNI Infinity.png.png
LBV Hub Networking
19 Apr 2024

Business Networking in Blackburn - BNI Infinity

Hampton by Hilton, 2 Frontier Ave, Blackburn, BB1 3AL

06:30 - 08:30

Advertise with us

Reaching 50,000 members, our print, digital and event platforms offer a fantastic way to raise your business profile and help you grow.

Find out more Lbv115 Online Graphic
Subscribe now

Weekly news bulletin