Press Releases

22 April 2024
The DRCF launches informal advice service to support innovation and enable economic growth

The DRCF AI and Digital Hub, a new multi-agency informal advice service, will offer access to four regulators – the CMA, the FCA, the ICO and Ofcom.

22 April 2024

The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) today announced the launch of the AI and Digital Hub (“the Hub”) pilot, an ambitious new service. This Government-funded Hub will support innovators working on AI or digital products by providing informal advice on complex regulatory questions that cross more than one DRCF regulator’s remit. This free service will make it easier to get support from two or more regulators at once, via the DRCF website, rather than having to approach each one separately.

DRCF-commissioned research, funded by the Regulators’ Pioneer Fund, has shown that innovators working with cutting-edge technologies want streamlined regulatory support to help them bring new AI and digital products and services to market safely and quickly.

The Hub will provide a single source of informal advice and so help unlock innovation and support UK economic growth. If someone is developing a new fintech app, for example, they can ask for consolidated informal advice on how different sets of regulatory requirements may apply to their product.

DRCF CEO Kate Jones said the aim of the Hub was to help innovators bring products and services to market safely and responsibly:

“The Hub is a step-change for the DRCF and a clear example of how collaboration between regulators can deliver tangible benefits to the UK tech sector. The Hub will provide regulatory clarity to innovators to help them develop their products and services with confidence. We encourage all innovators to make the most of this one-year pilot and send us your queries – we look forward to working with you.”

Secretary of State for Science, Innovation, and Technology, Michelle Donelan said:

“AI innovations are already transforming how we tackle and diagnose diseases like cancer, improving our public services, and ramping up productivity. It is the defining technology of our generation.

“Through the AI and Digital Hub, we can bring groundbreaking innovators together with our expert regulators to streamline the process of harnessing the technology’s incredible potential.

"Our regulatory approach to AI places innovation at its heart, and this pilot scheme will play a vital role in helping us to refine that approach both now and in the years to come.”

Who can apply to the Hub and how does it work?

Innovators who are developing a new product, service or business model are eligible to apply to the Hub if their question meets these criteria:

1. It has an AI and/or digital focus;

2. It falls within the remit of at least two DRCF member regulators;

3. It is innovative;

4. It will benefit consumers, businesses and/or the UK economy.

We will adopt a broad interpretation of “innovative” to capture both radical and incremental advances to products, services or business models.

Case studies will inform applicants and widen access

As the DRCF addresses queries in the Hub, it will publish the outcomes as case studies on its website, anonymised as appropriate and without any sensitive commercial information, to support a greater number of innovators and benefit other UK businesses.

Notes to editors

  1. More details on the DRCF AI and Digital Hub can be found on the DRCF website.
  2. The Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) was formed in July 2020 and brings together the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), and the Office of Communications (Ofcom). Building on the strong working relationships between these four organisations, the DRCF was established to ensure collaboration and cohesion, given the unique challenges posed by regulation of online platforms and digital services. More information at
  3. The four organisations hold different regulatory responsibilities for online services. These include addressing competition concerns (the CMA, the FCA and Ofcom); protecting consumers (all four); upholding information rights (the ICO); communications regulation and enforcing the Online Safety Act (Ofcom); and the regulation of financial services (the FCA).
  4. Read our Workplan 2024/25 on the DRCF website.
  5. For further information, please contact