We have a unique convening power to shape the direction of innovation, both in technology and where wider issues persist in the market. A key element of our innovation toolkit that has enabled us to achieve this, and which has attracted international interest is the TechSprint.

TechSprints are events that bring together participants from across and outside of financial services to develop technology based ideas or proof of concepts to address specific industry challenges. These events help us to shine a light on issues and expand the discussion and awareness of potential solutions.

Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint, 22-25 March 2021

We’re holding a 4-day virtual TechSprint bringing together teams of majority female regulatory, technology, data and financial services experts. The aim will be to find solutions to issues that are being made worse by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic or where women are being disproportionately affected. Through this TechSprint we aim to empower women by exploring innovation to increase women’s financial inclusion, resilience and access.  See how to get involved.

To support the TechSprint, we’ll be hosting a conference, bringing together speakers and participants to discuss the opportunities of technology and innovation. This is a chance to look at the challenges that women face and hear ideas from experts around the world. The conference line up has been announced and registration is open

We’re also keen to showcase and highlight the female talent throughout the technology, data and financial services sectors, as well as the leaders and champions who advocate for vulnerable women every day.

Recognising that these issues are not specific to the UK, a parallel TechSprint will take place in the US, led by The Alliance for Innovative Regulation (AIR). US regulators, banks, fintechs, data experts, technologists and advocates will collaborate to address local issues. We’re also exploring opportunities for more TechSprint hubs in other regions. 

Use cases

From the viewpoint of women who have been disproportionately affected by coronavirus, we’d like TechSprint participants to consider 3 use cases. Teams can choose to focus on 1 use case or combine them where appropriate: 

  • UC1: How can innovation support the secure identification and sharing of traditional and non-traditional data in order to form a holistic view of a woman who has been locked out or disenfranchised?   
  • UC2: How can we create a reliable and secure attestation of identity and/or creditworthiness for women who are underbanked or locked out?  
  • UC3: How can market participants access the secure attestation without compromising privacy and security?  
  • UC4: How can technology help women understand and manage their finances during periods of uncertainty or change to support their future financial resilience and security?

We’re interested in a wide range of innovations and technologies, including privacy enhancing technology, personal information and data management tools, distributed leger technology, ID as a service, open finance and cloud solutions.

The coronavirus pandemic is having a huge impact across all sections of the population. We see this TechSprint as an opportunity to explore solutions that will benefit a wide range of consumers.

Getting involved

Expressions of interest closed on 15 February, however, we are able to accept a limited number of late applications but cannot guarantee participation. Please contact [email protected] to discuss. 

Evolution of TechSprints

On 3 March 2020, we published this research exploring the lessons we have learned from hosting 7 TechSprints across a range of subjects. As part of our commitment continuing to foster innovative and collaborative global financial markets, we want to share our experience and support other organisations in their efforts to address key industry problems.

Read: ‘Fostering innovation through collaboration: the evolution of the FCA TechSprint approach’ research paper

Video: TechSprint review (3 minutes 38 seconds)

TechSprint participants discuss the benefits of this approach and why collaboration is an essential part of innovation.

Previous TechSprints

Since 2016, we’ve hosted the following TechSprints. Read about our previous events:

Page updates

03/03/2021: Information changed Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint registration link and Getting involved paragraph.
01/02/2021: Information added Virtual Women’s Economic Empowerment TechSprint

03/03/2020: Information added Publication of 'Fostering innovation through collaboration' research paper