Lancaster University Management School will help deliver a major new research project to help mid-sized law and accountancy firms adopt artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to improve productivity and develop new business models.
Commissioned by Business Secretary Greg Clark, the Innovating Next Generation Services through Collaborative Design project will help professional service businesses to adopt the new technologies, focusing on firms that are cautious or uncertain over how to implement technological change.
The £3m project, led by Prof Tim Vorley from the University of Sheffield’s Management School, will involve a collaborative team of researchers and forms one of three successful bids to the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Next Generation Services call.
Profs Martin Spring and James Faulconbridge will lead the Lancaster University arm of the research. Rather than focusing solely on the new technologies as such, the research will involve exploratory prototyping of technology-based business solutions designed in collaboration with firms to enable a rapid generation and assessment of potential future applications of artificial intelligence across businesses. This is critical if adoption within sector firms is to broaden.
The services sector accounts for almost 80 per cent of the UK economy, with professional services the largest sub-sector representing 11 per cent of GDP.
Prof Spring said: “This project presents a tremendous opportunity to make a real impact on a vital and potentially world-leading sector of the UK economy.”