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Lead Research Organisation:
University of Exeter

Professor Saeema Ahmed-Kristensen
(See DIGIT Lab website for the full team)

Academic partners:
University of East Anglia
Oxford Brookes University
Royal Holloway, University London

The DIGIT Lab is an EPSRC Next Stage Digital Economy Centre delivering a 5-year research programme backed by £12.4M in funding. It works with Large Established Organizations (LEOs) to understand barriers to productivity improvements through digital transformation using responsible and sustainable approaches to innovation.

From our previous research in the Digital Economy, and in discussions with our partners, what emerged was a fundamental research challenge: to reimagine Large Established Organizations for the digital age.

The context and increasing need for this new centre are clear. The past two decades have seen intense focus across all organisations to address the opportunity and the challenges of using digital technology. It has changed how they operate (automating and accelerating day-to-day activities), opened up new insights into what they know about their products and services (in production and in use), and often revolutionised the nature of the products and services they deliver, to be more virtual, personalised, and responsive.

Adopting digital technology to increase productivity has been identified as critical to the UK’s future competitiveness. This is particularly important in Large Established Organizations, which form over 60% of the UK economy. Unfortunately, the data shows that they are struggling to adapt to the digital economy.

A more open, coordinated focus on supporting these organisations is essential, requiring broad, informed studies that bring rigour and credibility to obtained insights for the benefits of all. The DIGIT Lab also has the opportunity to build on the unprecedented digital experiences of the past year. The focus today, with the benefit of hindsight of the past few months of rapid change, is a more fundamental revamp of business practices; a realignment of operations toward core values, and a stronger relationship between stakeholders, partners, and consumers of services.

Read more in this introductory article, or visit the DIGIT Lab website.