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Friday 12 July 2019

Bristol University secures £100m to explore digital futures

University of Bristol logoThe University of Bristol has secured over £100m in grant funding for its new Bristol Digital Futures Institute (BDFI). The investment includes £29m from Research England’s UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), £16m from philanthropy and £55m from 27 partner organisations, including Airbus, Arm, BBC, BT, Dyson, Evolyst, System C Healthcare, and Thales.

BDFI will be based at the University's new Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus. It will be jointly led by Susan Halford, a social scientist and Professor of Sociology, and Dimitra Simeonidou, an engineer and Professor of High-Performance Networks. It intends to bring together engineers, computer scientists, social and behavioural scientists, psychologists and researchers in legal and ethical sectors, with partners from industry, social enterprises and civic organisations to explore opportunities and challenges posed by new digital technologies.

Example BDFI projects include: the emerging challenges in future cities; protecting against cyber-attacks on critical infrastructure; and exploring how digital technologies are experienced by different social groups.

BDFI is one of 11 projects funded in the latest UKRPIF round. In total £221m from UKRPIF has been invested in new university research centres to develop specialist industrial clusters. Nearly 100 businesses, charities and philanthropic donors have committed an additional £500m. Further details on all 11 projects can be found here.

Nishan Canagarajah, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Enterprise) at Bristol, said universities should not be “jealously guarding its experts and innovators, but opening its doors to the public and creating the space for two-way conversations and collaborative projects that will make a real impact on society at large”.

BDFI is a fascinating initiative and one that tallies well with TechMarketView’s research theme for 2019: The Year of the Relationship: Extend, Evolve, Optimise. As we commented in our Predictions Compendium 2019, suppliers will need to improve their credentials by enhancing propositions via the development of a strong eco-system of partners, including those in academia.

Posted by Dale Peters at '08:58' - Tagged: funding   partnership   digital   collaboration   university  

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