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£8 million Digital Futures at Work Research Centre launches

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    Eversheds Sutherland partners with Sussex and Leeds Universities to launch a new research centre

    Eversheds Sutherland is collaborating with Sussex and Leeds Universities on their launch of a new research centre, Digital Futures at Work Research Centre (Digit).

    The Digit research centre is a flagship investment totalling £8m, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), that aims to advance understanding of how digital technologies are reshaping work and impacting on employers, employees, unions, job seekers and governments. Eversheds Sutherland will sit on the Advisory Board and will help to facilitate its research. Over twenty businesses, union, NGOs and government partners are involved with the centre from Europe, North America and Asia including EY, Walmart, and M&S.

    The roadmap launch was held at Eversheds Sutherland’s London HQ and featured Marc Meryon, Partner and Head of Industrial Relations at Eversheds Sutherland, and Professor Jennifer Rubin, Executive Chair of the ESRC, as well as the opportunity for the Digit Centre’s knowledge exchange partners to contribute to the debate on key issues around the digital transformation of work.

    Marc Meryon, said:

    “As a global legal practice, we’re thrilled to support and partner on this innovative project, which reflects our purpose of helping our people, our clients and our communities to thrive. The world of work is constantly evolving, and research on  understanding and adapting to  these changes is vital for businesses, governments and professionals in today’s global market."

    The Digit Centre is jointly led by Professor Jackie O’Reilly at the University of Sussex Business School and Professor Mark Stuart at Leeds University Business School alongside partners from Aberdeen, Cambridge and Manchester Universities in the UK and Monash University, in Australia. Together with a wide range of business and not-for-profit organisations, the Centre will generate useful research and build knowledge on how key actors inclusively steer this transformation.

    Professor Jackie O’Reilly, said:

    “We know that some firms are at the forefront of digital transformations, whilst others are lagging behind. We know that we have some of the best-qualified STEM graduates in the UK, while others lack basic digital skills. And we know that countries vary in their ability to effectively take up some of these challenges. But we don’t always know why these gaps are appearing and what can be done to ensure that digital transformation is inclusive. The Digital Futures at Work Research Centre will have some of these questions at the heart of its investigations to understand not only what is happening in the UK, how this compares internationally, and what needs to be done.”

    Professor Mark Stuart, said:

     “The impact of new technologies on the future of work is one of the most pressing policy concerns of our time. Yet debate is largely speculative. Over the next five years, the Digital Futures at Work Research Centre will embark on an agenda-setting programme of research that will provide compelling evidence on the contemporary transformation of work.

    “The centre will act as a focal point for all those interested in the future of work, providing a much-needed space to bring together academic researchers, policymakers and practitioners to interrogate contemporary developments within a historical, international and comparative perspective. ”

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