Project Hertha: Invitation to apply for the Advisory Group of the project

For companies and researchers with expertise in financial crime typologies, data protection and advanced data analytics

Last updated 25 January 2024

What is Project Hertha?

Project Hertha is a collaborative project between BIS Innovation Hub London Centre and the Bank of England. It will explore how network analytics could help identify financial crime patterns utilising a minimum set of data points.

It does not seek to make recommendations on policy or regulation concerning financial crime.

The project will:

  • Explore existing and emerging financial crime typologies, using lessons from traditional payment systems and digital asset networks.
  • Develop a realistic synthetic dataset representing transaction data across all types of retail payments, including point-of-sale, online, person-to-person and business-to-person payments.
  • Use the dataset to test how cutting-edge analytical techniques can identify financial crime patterns using a minimal set of data points.

The project's findings will be summarised in a report, aimed to be published by end of 2024.

The project was named after the British physicist, inventor and suffragette Hertha Ayrton. In 1904, she became the first woman to read a scientific paper before the Royal Society. Two years later her work on arc and sand-ripple experiments was awarded the Hughes Medal recognising outstanding contribution to physical sciences.

Scope of the advisory group

We are looking to collaborate with a wide range of experts on the project to maximise the benefits for the whole financial services ecosystem.

The advisory group will be responsible for shaping the methodology used for the project and the development of the synthetic dataset. The objectives of the advisory group will be to:

  • Capture key emerging and existing typologies of financial crime and money laundering.
  • Provide concrete guidance on how these typologies can be represented in synthetic data.
  • Set measurable and specific requirements for the quality of synthetic data developed for the project.
  • Harness any existing data and research on financial crime transaction patterns, including from digital asset and stablecoin networks.
  • Advise on privacy and data protection considerations in the dataset development and analytics.
  • Advise on the scope of exploratory analysis that could be conducted using the dataset as well as measuring its effectiveness.

We anticipate that the advisory group will require around four full-time equivalent days of time commitment from the members between February and November 2024. This will include monthly meetings to help steer the project development, reviewing emerging project outputs, and group workshops on financial crime typologies and data generation.

We are looking for applications from private and public sector organisations, as well researchers and academics with relevant experience. We are looking for advisors with expertise in financial crime investigations and policy, network analysis, working with transaction data and developing datasets to train AI models. We will select the advisors based on their individual skills and experience; as well as ensuring collective diversity of skills and experience.

To apply, please submit two paragraphs explaining what you and your organisation can bring to the project to by 29 January 2024. Please contact if you have any further questions or would like to register for the Q&A session. Participants will be required to consent to the Terms of Reference of the Advisory Group.

Expected project timeline is as follows:

  • Q&A session: 19 January 2024
  • Expressions of Interest due by 29 January 2024
  • Advisory group membership confirmed by 12 February 2024.
  • Advisory group kick-off meeting early March 2024.
  • Phase 1 (typologies and dataset development) is expected to run between February and July 2024.
  • Phase 2 (analytics) is expected to run between July and November 2024.
  • Final report to be published by December 2024.