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Brunel's new Institute for Digital Futures

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A new research Institute at Brunel University London is gearing up to focus on solving today’s technological challenges to help improve lives worldwide.

Recently more than 50 Brunel staff gave feedback via a survey on the proposal to form the Institute for Digital Futures (IDF). The feedback and interest in the Institute was overwhelmingly positive and the proposal is now approved.

Brunel’s fourth research institute, the Institute for Digital Futures (IDF) will bridge business sectors and blend expertise from across the whole University. 

It comes at a boom time for jobs and investment in digital technology. The sector grew six times faster than any other UK industry in 2018, pouring £149bn into the economy.

“The potential for the Institute for Digital Futures to galvanize the unique digital research capabilities at Brunel and maximize its societal impacts is exciting,” said Provost, Professor Rebecca Lingwood. 

“I look forward to seeing the Institute facilitate this work across Brunel, forging new external partnerships and tackling challenges to help enhance the global citizen’s quality of life.”

Set to launch formally in the next academic year, the virtual institute will work across Brunel’s three Colleges, facilitating the work of existing centres and groups, and focusing on challenges such as:

·         Innovative data technologies

·         AI, robotics and autonomous systems

·         Smart technologies and quality engineering

·         Media connectivity and Internet of Things (IoT)

·         Software, cyber security and gaming

·         Cultural and digital innovation

Part of the Brunel 2030 Research Strategy, the move aligns to one of Brunel’s five Strategic Challenge Areas: Digital Futures, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data. Crucially, it lines up with the Government Industrial Strategy’s emphasis on AI and data and the future of mobility and allows it to expand its focus on digital health and to related issues of ethics and trust. 

“An institute director will be recruited in the coming months and then explore many of the areas you told us you are interested in developing with the support of the Institute,” added Prof Lingwood. “Clearly, we cannot organize face-to-face events at the moment but we can still move onwards with this and other aspects of the implementation of the Research Strategy.”

 If you have any questions, please contact Professor Rebecca Lingwood at provost@brunel.ac.uk