Launch of permanent Digital Sandbox

Following 2 successful pilots, our Digital Sandbox will be made available permanently on 1 August 2023, opening up the platform to an even broader range of innovative businesses, start-ups and data providers.

The Digital Sandbox is a testing environment that enables us to support firms at the early stage of product development by enabling experimentation through proof of concepts. Alongside innovators, the permanent Sandbox also welcomes data providers to apply to list their data on the platform and gain traffic and insights on its usage.  

Until now, the platform has only been available temporarily to those participating in pilots and TechSprints.

The Digital Sandbox works to foster innovation and growth - more than half of the previous Small to Medium Enterprise participants in the pilots and TechSprints made positive developments including launching new products, securing funding and partnerships, or receiving industry awards or recognitions.  

The permanent Sandbox is part of a range of market facing tools and initiatives we offer to support innovative firms to launch new products and services. It will also help deliver our new secondary objective to support economic growth and international competitiveness. 

Digital Sandbox features 

Participants will have permanent access to:  

  • High-quality datasets and Application Programme Interfaces (APIs): Including over 200 synthetic, public or anonymised data sets and over 1000 APIs to enable testing and validation of technology solutions. The range covers payments and transactions data, social media data, investment, Companies House and credit data.  
  • Robust data security protection: The platform has an integrated development environment to allow experimentation while safeguarding the data assets on the platform.  
  • A collaborative platform: To facilitate diversity of thought, share learnings and foster an ecosystem between teams, observers and mentors.  
  • An observation deck: To enable interested parties such as regulators, incumbents and others to observe in-flight testing at a technical level.  

How to apply 

From 1 August 2023 you will be able to apply for the permanent Digital Sandbox under any of the following themes:  

  • banking 
  • investment 
  • lending 
  • payments 
  • insurance 
  • pension 
  • wholesale buy-side 
  • wholesale sell-side 
  • cross-sectors   

To ensure we serve the right audiences and deliver the intended impact, you will be assessed against the following criteria:  

  • in scope  
  • genuine innovation 
  • consumer benefit 
  • readiness  
  • need for support  

The approval process will take a maximum of 4 weeks.  

More information on how to apply and what we’re looking for will be made available here from 1 August 2023.