Innovate Finance, a U.K.-based fintech industry body, will open a blockchain technology research lab in partnership with the government and IBM co-cofounded Hartree Center, a high performance computing and data analytics research facility.

The purpose of the lab is to explore and develop practical applications for blockchain technology relevant to all players in the financial services industry, including regulators as well as customers and partners. This would include more efficient payment settlements, one of the more popular use cases for blockchain technology in the sector, as well as applications for anti-money laundering, Know Your Customer procedures and digital currency use.

Innovate Finance expects the lab to begin operating this October and the first set of prototype use cases to be developed by the end of the year.

The group framed the creation of the forthcoming lab as a response to interested members wanting blockchain technology, as a viable infrastructure for new applications, to be integrated with existing systems more quickly. Once it launches, members will have access to a "blockchain sandbox," according to a press release, where they can experiment with the technology and test the developed applications.

"We are excited about the prospect of our members openly collaborating to deliver use cases to the wider community," CEO Lawrence Wintermeyer said in the release. "If we can use the lab to develop open standards for the blockchain in financial services, we will be moving one step closer to accelerating the mass adoption of this breakthrough technology."