Stephen brings more than 20 years’ experience in innovation and collaborative research projects to the University’s newest research institute, as well expertise in developing smart, sustainable and inclusive cities.
Bristol Digital Futures Institute was setup by the University of Bristol in 2019, with £100 million of funding and support from Research England, alongside industry and community partners. The work of the Institute will combine technical and social research to transform the way we create new digital technology for inclusive, prosperous and sustainable societies.
Partners include tech giants BT and Airbus, creative stalwarts BBC and Aardman, and community organisations Babbasa, Knowle West Media Centre and Black South West Network. The Institute will be based at the planned Temple Quarter Enterprise Campus, forecasted to bring £600m of financial and employment benefit to the region over the next 10 years.
Stephen previously worked for Bristol City Council, leading on smart cities, environmental sustainability, urban resilience and international strategy. He also worked with the University of Bristol to pioneer the Smart City Testbed, a living lab where smart services can be created and tested in a real-world environment.
Stephen Hilton said, “Technology is coming at us faster than ever and the future can seem uncertain. Bristol Digital Futures Institute will help ensure new technologies consider the human and environmental implications. Only then will we create more human, creative and caring smart cities and a truly inclusive approach to our digital futures”
Professor Dimitra Simeonidou said, “I’m delighted to announce Stephen Hilton as the first Fellow of our Institute. Stephen is an internationally recognised smart cities expert. He’s led digital initiatives that have transformed our city-region, particularly around how new technology can truly benefit people and the environment.
His knowledge and vision will be invaluable and I’m looking forward working with Stephen to address the key challenges of urban digitisation.”
Professor Susan Halford said: “It’s a pleasure to welcome Stephen to the Bristol Digital Futures Institute. His passion and drive for inclusive digital futures aligns perfectly with the aims of the Bristol Digital Futures Institute. His experience in Bristol and beyond will help is embed this in policy and practice.”