• £3 million of funding available to support projects that will allow the UK’s regulatory environment to keep pace with technological advances of the future – from robot guide dogs to 3D printed food
  • The Regulators’ Pioneer Fund will keep the UK at the forefront of regulatory thinking and support businesses to develop new innovative products and services
  • Business Minister Lord Callanan: “As we build back better, we want to ensure dreamers and disruptors aren’t held back by outdated rules and regulations”

A £3 million funding pot that will ensure the UK’s rules and regulations keep pace with innovation has opened for applications today.

Regulators and local authorities will be able to apply for funds of up to £200,000 from the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund to deliver initiatives that will help to keep the UK at the forefront of regulatory thinking and experimentation.

Many regulatory functions are performed at a local level, from taxi licensing to trading standards. So for the first time, government has expanded the fund to include local authorities so regulatory innovations can be tested at a local, as well as national, level.

Business Minister Lord Callanan said:

“As we look to build back better from the pandemic and make the most of opportunities as an independent nation, we want to ensure our dreamers and disruptors can continue to thrive and are not held back by needless red tape.

“This £3 million Regulators’ Pioneer Fund will help unleash innovation in every corner of the UK by ensuring our rules and regulations keep up with the rate of technological change driven by our brilliant businesses.”

The fund will support projects that allow the UK’s regulatory environment to keep pace with technological advances of the future, such as robot guide dogs and 3D printed food.


If the UK’s regulatory approach is not kept up to date, businesses may face unnecessary obstacles in bringing forward new innovations, while citizens are left with outdated protections.


The fund is part of wider government work on regulation. The Chancellor is chairing a new Better Regulation Committee at the heart of the government, to drive an ambitious regulatory reform agenda and ensure the UK’s regulatory framework is updated to enable this innovation.

The funding will support regulators and local authorities to test and pilot ambitious and experimental regulatory approaches that improve their ability to support innovation and innovators.

This is the second round of the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, and previous winning projects include:

  • approximately £700,000 for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency to develop synthetic datasets. These datasets will support the development of cutting-edge medical technologies to fight coronavirus (COVID-19) and cardiovascular disease
  • up to £1 million for the Civil Aviation Authority to support a project that includes a “regulatory lab” that will bring together relevant bodies to unblock legislative and regulatory barriers to innovations like flying taxis

The competition is now live and receiving applications until 15 July 2021. Read further details about the competition.