The fellows include CEOs, CDIOs, distinguished engineers, economists and independent advisors, all with international reach and recognition

Established industry leaders join DIGIT Lab to accelerate digital transformation impact

DIGIT Lab, the UK’s National Research Centre for digital transformation in Large Established Organizations (LEOs), has announced its inaugural cohort of digital impact fellows.

Part of the University of Exeter Business School’s INDEX (Initiative in Digital Economy at Exeter) research centre, the DIGIT Lab is a Next Stage Digital Economy Centre with £12m funding from UKRI undertaking a 5-year research programme to derive new insights into responsible digital innovation approaches in LEOs.

To support this goal, the digital impact fellows bring their deep experience and influence from across UK industry and beyond to add to the centre’s knowledge base in digital transformation.

The initial cohort includes CEOs, CDIOs, distinguished engineers, economists and independent advisors, all with international reach and recognition and at the cutting edge of their fields, which range from digital technology to data, IT, finance, engineering and design. They will work with researchers from DIGIT Lab to help align research with industry priorities.

The Digital Impact Fellows are:

David Birch is an author, adviser and commentator on digital financial services who holds a number of board and advisory roles across in the fields of digital identity and has been named one of the global top 15 best sources of business information by Wired magazine, and one of the top 10 most influential voices in banking by Financial Brand.

James MacGregor is a Senior Economist at Ramboll Management Consulting who supports clients to make sustainable, economic, and defensible investment decisions.

Cathy Mulligan is a Professor of Computer Science and the ERA Chair for Blockchain Technologies and Design Innovation for Social Good at Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, with 25 years of real-world industrial experience and research in both technology and digital economics.

Rashik Parmar, Fellow and Vice President of Technology at IBM for Europe, Middle East and Asia, is a contemporary technical leader with 35 years’ experience in implementing latest technologies that deliver tangible business outcomes.

Samantha Seaton is CEO at Moneyhub, the award-winning Open Data and payments platform that enables companies to transform data into personalised digital experiences and initiate payments.

Mike Young is an Independent Advisor on BT’s Non-Executive Technology Advisory Board and an accomplished CIO/COO who has delivered major change programmes across a diverse range of organisations globally, including in the energy, media, financial services, telecoms and retail sectors.

Alan Brown, Director of Digit Lab and Professor of Digital Economy at the University of Exeter Business School, said: “We are delighted to have attracted such highly regarded experts with international reach and vast experience of technology and business to the DIGIT Lab project. I am sure their expertise will prove invaluable as we translate our novel research findings into concrete steps that will have a real-world impact for industry and the economy.”

Asked about their contribution to this research agenda, David Birch commented: “It’s a great opportunity to bring industry and academic research knowledge together to provide valuable input to the digital evolution of UK plc.” Mike Young added that “the large-scale transformation of business is essential to the UK. I’m delighted to support this research programme to ensure it has maximum impact on our digital future.”

This work is supported by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) grant EP/T022566/1 for the University of Exeter’s Digital Economy Next Stage Centre, DIGIT Lab

Date: 27 January 2022

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