The GR3C (Governance Risk and Compliance Competence Centre) is a multi-disciplinary, industry-led research centre hosted by Cork University Business School (CUBS) at University College Cork (UCC).

The centre’s roots are in Ireland’s Technology Centre Programme and its core technologies were developed with over 5 year’s of research funding from Enterprise Ireland and the IDA. The GR3C and centre of excellence for innovation and research in semantic technology and AI/NLP-based RegTech for GRC in a range of industries including financial services. It is currently undertaking a number of Enterprise Ireland funded projects.

The GR3C’s mission is to undertake business-focused research and development (R&D) for the benefit of Irish industry and international stakeholders. Its objective is to provide innovative RegTech solutions, based on semantic technologies, artificial intelligence (AI)/natural language programming (NLP) to the GRC problems confronting firms globally. Regulatory Compliance and Risk, Operational Risk, Conduct Risk, Money Laundering Risk, and CyberRisk are key research themes

The Team

The Centre is led by Professor Tom Butler. Multi-disciplinary researchers currently include:

  • Dr Mary Daly
  • Dr Selja Seppala
  • Leona O’Brien
  • Patrick O’Sullivan
  • Massimo Dela Rovere
  • Arvind Baskaradoss
  • Stefan Stewart

Associate researchers include Dr Marcello Ceci, Dr Angelina Espinoza, Dr Tabassum Naz, and Dr Firas Al-Khalil.

Our Value Proposition

The ‘must fix’ Problem:
Key challenges faced by the industry…
The velocity and complexity of financial regulation and enforcement represents an exponentially growing cost to the industry, who must adapt in order to remain compliant and competitive.
This is exemplified by:

  1. Ever increasing volume, variety and velocity of regulation and regulatory and regulated entities
  2. Increased ambiguity due to the interplay of principles and rule- based regulation emanating from different regulatory jurisdictions and agencies
  3. Inadequacy of existing systems/traditional technology and approaches
  4. Siloed and incoherent data
  5. Increasing complexity and inability to achieve a single “correct” interpretation
  6. Inability of the industry to apply systematic and cumulative experience and knowledge transfer
  7. Increasing dependency upon scarce skilled staff to help manage regulatory change
  8. Increasingly combative enforcement regimes

Basis for ‘must have’ solution to customers…

The industry’s financial, risk and reputational performance will be bolstered through:

  1. Systematically unpacking the complexity of multi-jurisdictional and multi-layered regulations
  2. Developing GRC policies and processes structured to ingest regulatory obligations comprehensively and consistently
  3. Implementing regulatory change in a cumulative and orderly fashion
  4. Establishing standardised data structures to enable meaning to travel with data
  5. Creating the ability to benchmark capabilities and facilitate knowledge accumulation, transfer and training

The GR3C solution:
Component parts…

The GR3C solution suite encompasses:

  1. ’RegTech enabled proof of concepts
  2. People/knowledge transfer
  3. Methodologies and processes
  4. Product and solution demonstrators
  5. Expert advisory and value-add services
  6. Alliances

The GR3C Value proposition…

‘GR3C is an innovative industry-championed Centre whose R&D supports the delivery of RegTech solutions that helps make regulatory engagement work better, thereby reducing complexity and cost, mitigating risk, creating operational efficiencies and enhancing business performance.’

Basis for differentiation…

‘The GR3C is the only Technology Centre focused on delivering ‘smarter’ RegTech enabled GRC solutions in financial services’

• ‘In the industry, for the industry;’
• Harnessing the transformational power of semantic technologies;
• Collaborative ethos and independent mind-set;
• Irish Government backed and supported.

GR3C Mission

The GR3C’s mission is to undertake business-focused research and development for the benefit its members and other stakeholders. Its objective is to provide innovative solutions, based on semantic technologies, to the GRC problems that confront the financial industry.


financial services

The GR3C’s primary research focus is on the development of semantic technology-based architecture patterns, design patterns and application prototypes for regulatory, risk and compliance applications. However, it is also conducting research on, for examples, translating complex compliance imperatives into a standards-based regulatory natural language that is human and machine readable, and on GRC capability maturity models.

GR3C Goals

The overarching goal of the GR3C is to build a portfolio of innovative, applied RegTech focused research projects that collectively address the significant GRC challenges facing the financial industry. Its specific goals are to:

  • Initiate, conduct, disseminate and commercialise research on GRC models, frameworks and semantic technologies
  • Build research partner networks with industry and academic stakeholders
  • Leverage partner networks to help secure additional research funding from government, EU and industry sources
  • Further develop collaborations with standards bodies and industry associations (e.g. Object Management Group and EDM Council)
  • Develop GRC and related competencies of researchers and industry partners
  • Establish the GR3C as an international centre of excellence in R&D on semantic technologies for GRC in the financial industry
  • Deliver unique Value Propositions to stakeholders