ADFI is a multi-disciplinary research institute, established to provide thought leadership on one of the defining trends for the 2020s - the evolution of developed economies towards what is commonly referred to as ‘Industry 4.0’ and beyond.


Our vision for the new research institute is rooted in the heritage, specialisms, and location of Aston University:

  • Aston University has a distinguished heritage as a technological University. Under the leadership of its new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Aleks Subic, the University is developing a new strategy - Aston 2030 - which will position the University at the cutting edge of digital transformation by focusing strategically on value creation and impact realisation at the interfaces between Health, Digital and Technology. 
  • The articulation of ADFI sits at the intersection of all three of the University’s disciplinary Colleges: Engineering and Physical Sciences, Health and Life Sciences, and Business and Social Sciences.
  • Our ambition is to grow research capability and capacity in the Digital Futures space, particularly in the areas of AI in Health, Data Science and Bioinformatics, Gamification and Digital Society.
  • The University’s location is in the heart of the city of Birmingham, and within the city’s designated ‘Birmingham Innovation Quarter (B-IQ)’, which will drive technological innovation in digital tech and health tech.

Six key aims of ADFI

The aims of the new research institute are to:

  1. Galvanise and expand the University’s research footprint in the Digital Tech space.
  2. Generate significant new research activities, including grant capture at scale, outputs at world-leading (4*) quality and impact with outstanding levels of reach and significance, as well as attracting high-quality PhD students to Aston University.
  3. Support innovative academic development and contemporary education in this domain for the University, reflecting its identity as a ‘dual-intensive’ institution.
  4. Build strategic partnerships in this area with businesses and public sector organisations in the Midlands and beyond, and driving innovation and impact.
  5. Shape and lead the public debate around what society’s digital future might look like and influence socially responsible transformations and sustainable growth.
  6. Spearhead Aston University’s contribution to the economic regeneration of Birmingham and the West Midlands through digital transformation.

Contact Us

General enquiries

Our address
Aston University
Aston Triangle
B4 7ET

Professor Abdul Sadka,
Professor And Director Of Aston Digital Futures Institute


    Aston Digital Futures Institute (ADFI)

    ADFI Interdisciplinary Ideation Workshop (IIW) #1

    Digital Health: towards an improved health/social care quality of service and cost effective delivery