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FCA opens applications for Digital Sandbox's sustainability cohort

Source: Innovate Finance

Building on the success of the Sandbox's first pilot, the FCA and The City of London Corporation, supported by Innovate Finance, are running a second phase of the Digital Sandbox to support the testing and development of new products and services that will aid the transition to a net zero economy.

The FCA's site reads: "Building on our lessons learned from the pilot, we are running a second phase of the initiative focussed on providing support to innovators looking to develop and validate solutions in the area of ESG data and disclosure. Applications are now open."

The purpose of this sustainability cohort is to accelerate innovation and to address the specific market challenges set out below:

  • How can technology enable transparency in disclosure and reporting on sustainability, especially on the characteristics of corporate assets and the profile of their supply chains? (eg open source and eco-friendly decentralised ledgers, centralised platforms)
  • How can technology be used to automate the assurance of a listed issuer’s ESG data and validation of its ESG-labelled corporate bond issuance? (eg Internet of things, decentralised ledgers, centralised platforms, satellite imaging, artificial intelligence)
  • How can technology help consumers understand the ESG characteristics of the products and providers they engage with, as well as provide visibility around alternatives aligned with their needs and preferences?


Applications will be assessed on the following eligibility criteria:

  • Genuine innovation: The solution/product is sufficiently different from what already exists in the market.
  • In scope: The solution would benefit UK consumers or financial services firms by solving one of the ESG data and disclosure use cases. Your company doesn’t need to be domiciled in the UK, but your solution needs to be intended for use in the UK market.
  • Need for a Digital Sandbox: The solution requires Digital Sandbox features to be developed or improved.
  • Credible testing plan: The application has proposed a well-designed testing plan, detailing success criteria and future steps.

The application window is open between 6 September - 11 October 2021, and the Digital Sandbox will run between November 2021 - March 2022.

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