19 September 2023
A team of researchers at Trinity College Dublin has secured €365,000 in funding to develop an AI-driven platform to address failings in ethics and compliance that are causing large multinational companies to suffer huge losses every year due to fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour.
IntegrityIQ will be a spin-out of Trinity Business School, a top-ranking business school worldwide, and is supported by The Learnovate Centre, a global research and innovation centre in learning technologies in Trinity College Dublin.
The €365,000 funding was granted under Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund.
The project is based on a concept developed by Dr. Daniel Malan, a leading expert in the field of Organisational Integrity and Director of the Trinity Corporate Governance Lab at Trinity Business School.
Companies continue to suffer huge losses as a result of unethical behaviour. Last year, 16 Wall Street firms were fined a combined $1.8 billion USD because of inappropriate staff behaviour despite having existing regulatory and compliance training in place.
Ethics Officers of large corporations struggle with two main problems in their ethics and compliance training: the availability of relevant content and the delivery of effective programmes at scale. Current scalable solutions are mostly ineffective tick-box exercises while effective customised solutions are expensive and unscalable.
IntegrityIQ will offer an affordable personalised solution at scale.
The IntegrityIQ concept has been validated by leading global companies, who provided formal letters of support for the project. Several companies have also expressed interest in participating in pilots of the new software.
The product, which will be developed with the support of Learnovate over the next 18 months, will provide an immersive environment for employees to share perceptions about integrity risks and corporate culture and to sharpen their ethical decision-making skills in a simulated corporate environment. It will also facilitate the process to make protected disclosures (whistleblowing) and will capture relevant data that is available in real-time for internal and external reporting processes.
On the platform, each employee will engage within an immersive, innovative and completely confidential environment. They will create an avatar that is comparable to their own employee profile and will then enter a simulation where the avatar has to deal with a series of ethical dilemmas.
Learnovate will act as an incubator for the project by having its innovation services team build the product as well as handling recruitment and resource management. Over the next few months, a UX Lead, a Tech Lead and a Learning Lead from Learnovate will work with Dr. Malan, a Commercial Lead, and trial partners to develop the software product.
“This product fills a gap in the market. Many large multinational companies struggle with ethics and compliance training. They incur huge losses every year as a result of fraud, corruption and unethical behaviour. Companies are always looking for innovative ways to address these risks.
“We offer an affordable, customised, personalised product at scale. Essentially each employee in a company, no matter what the size of that company, will receive a personalised ethics training programme. We expect to work directly with at least seven industry partners during the development and piloting of the software.”
Tom Pollock, Commercial Development Manager at Learnovate, said:
“Two of Learnovate’s biggest areas of research expertise in the learning space are personalised learning and immersive learning methodologies. IntegrityIQ has both of those. It’s personalised, it’s immersive and it has impact. It’s also an incredibly timely project. Every day in the news you hear how unethical behaviour has a negative impact on organisations, and this is a chance to really make a difference in that space.”
Marina Donohoe, Divisional Manager for Research & Innovation at Enterprise Ireland, said:
“Developing a sustainable smart economy in Ireland needs a strong flow of innovative ideas and high-tech start-up companies. Enterprise Ireland’s Commercialisation Fund provides financial and strategic supports to enable venture scientists and researchers in the academic ecosystem to evolve their research into commercially viable products that are investor ready. Enterprise Ireland is delighted to award funding of €365,000 to TCD spin-out IntegrityIQ under our Commercialisation Fund, which will allow Dr. Malan and his team to develop an AI-driven platform to address costly ethics and compliance issues in SMEs and global corporations.
Source: Irish Tech News