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Sir Peter Rigby named honorary chair of Aston's Digital Futures Institute
Mon, 26th Feb 2024

Aston University has warmed hearts in the technology and education sectors alike with the announcement of their appointment of one of Britain's highly distinguished business leaders, Sir Peter Rigby, as honorary chair of their new venture, the Digital Futures Institute. Sir Peter's illustrious reputation in the business world, particularly for his contribution to IT and businesses, earned him knighthood in 2002. Now, he will be bestowing his expertise and extensive industry connections onto the new institute.

The grand inauguration of Sir Peter's appointment delivered a spectacle to the audience during the opening lecture delivered by Professor Abdul Sadka, the director of the Digital Futures Institute, at Aston University on 22 February.

Sir Peter is renowned for his vast contributions to the realm of information technology through SCC—the most significant privately owned Information Technology Group in Europe—which he founded in 1975. SCC stands as the power behind the Rigby Group, a name which graces the ranks of the UK's top privately owned businesses. Apart from tech, transformation and tech investments, the Rigby Group's interests stretch into the realms of real estate, airports and hotels. A Memorandum of Understanding inked between Aston University and SCC in March 2023 acted as the framework for a strategy to drive digital innovation and ensure digital inclusion.

The push towards the future represented by the Digital Futures Institute aligns with Aston University's commitment to promote digital innovation in the long-term. Operating at the crossroads between health, digital and technology, the focus of the Institute revolves around transformational impact, and the economic regeneration of the region, specifically through the nurturing of a digital powerhouse in the Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ).

Professor Aleks Subic, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of Aston University, said: "We share many common goals with Sir Peter, mainly the aspirations to hasten digital innovation and digital inclusion for the betterment of business and society. We are honoured that he has accepted the role of the inaugural honorary chair of the Digital Futures Institute, and his support, advocacy and insight promise to be great assets to the Institute."

Sir Peter Rigby welcomed the appointment, stating: "I accepted the position as I am confident about the Institute's potential to make a significant impact on some of the most pressing issues facing society today - digital inclusion and socially responsible transformation. The partnership between Aston and SCC, formalised last year, focuses on driving the application and deployment of digital technologies and digital skills, and the Digital Futures Institute is the pinnacle of this partnership."

Scheduled for an official launch in September 2024, the Digital Futures Institute, based on the main Aston University campus, looks forward to guidance, support, and advocacy from Sir Peter to ensure strong links to cutting-edge digital technologies in the industry.