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UKRN’s Annual Conference 2018 explores data, technology, innovation and best practice

The UK Regulators Network held its third annual conference on 23 April 2018, which brought together 120 representatives from the UKRN’s 12 member regulators, government departments, think tanks and other stakeholders.

Opening the conference, UKRN Chair and Ofgem CEO Dermot Nolan, outlined the UKRN’s activities from the past year, notably facilitating data-sharing on vulnerable consumers, its work to improve services on mental health, its data for public good project and its cost of capital work. He noted the progress achieved in delivering policy through engagement with key stakeholders and strategic partners, working towards the UKRN strategy, established in March 2017, designed to “facilitate cooperation and communication between its members to promote better outcomes in economic regulation for consumers and the economy”.

The morning’s first panel session explored the challenges and opportunities for delivering fair outcomes for consumers, with the rapid increase in data collection. This included defining consumer fairness, market ethics, trust and consent, vulnerable consumers, and recent policy developments, notably GDPR, open banking, and the Green Paper on Modernising Consumer Markets. It was noted that, in order to have legitimacy for any consumer policies introduced, the debate on this required the inclusion of the public as the ‘data owners’ and subject-matter experts.

The morning’s second panel session explored how to secure the benefits of data and innovation for resilient sectors in the long-term. Panellists provided their thoughts on defining the objectives for utilising data and digital innovation to support resilient sectors, which focused on the construction and national infrastructure sectors. They also welcomed the increasing willingness and appetite to discuss data and innovation from both the public and private sector, including regulators, and an increase in recognition of data and digital assets as a resource.

A range of five afternoon workshops provided an opportunity to share best practice and consider past studies from colleagues in other sectors.

You can read a summary of the topics discussed at the conference here.

We would like to thank those who attended, especially the panellists and session leads, for helping to make the conference a great success and look forward to seeing you all again at next year’s conference.