Innovate UK is searching for companies developing disruptive digital technologies that will help companies in all industries, including fintech, and give Britain a boost.

The government agency says a digital idea which has the potential to make money for other businesses could receive valuable funding.

Head of digital economy, Stephen Browning, cites the example of the international money transfer platform Tramonex which has received a £250,000 grant from Innovate UK.

The London fintech start up leverages blockchain technology to reduce transaction costs and speed up money transfers so SMEs can use the forex market.

Browning would like to see more innovation in areas such as machine learning and other forms of artificial intelligence, which is used increasingly in fintech.

Machine learning allows computers to gain information without being programmed. It enables companies to predict bad loans and build credit risk models, for example.

Artificial intelligence is also allowing fintech players to track consumer activity to get a better understanding of how people use a service so disruptors can tailor their offer to a customer’s specific needs and behaviour.

“There is some exciting disruption taking place around artificial intelligence and we want disruptors to come forward with ideas that could be rolled out across industry,” says Browning.

Innovate UK admits that many SMEs and start-ups, including from the fintech sector, are not always aware of what technological developments are available to help their business.

Browning and his team can connect users of digital technology with suppliers. Innovate UK already supports the Digital Catapult initiative which helps SMEs scale faster, and larger corporates to implement digital transformation programmes.

“Companies have specific needs but they might not always know how a new disruptive technology could assist them to grow,” says Browning.

Innovate UK is also planning to continue to support companies with innovative ideas to improve cyber-security over the next year – a critical, underpinning element of all digital technologies.

Browning adds that innovative fintech SMEs are among the firms benefiting from the government’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) which is helping early stage companies win lucrative public sector contracts.

The SBRI matches public sector organisational challenges with companies from different industries that have an innovative solution to the problem. This is generating economic growth, boosting public sector efficiency and helping the government to meet its objectives.